Great River Honor Flight releases schedule for 2023, expands veteran eligibility

Great River Honor Flight

QUINCY — The Great River Honor Flight recently released the dates for missions in 2023, as well as the expansion of eligibility for veterans who can apply for a future Honor Flight.

Great River Honor Flight has 62 completed one-day trips to Washington, D.C., and more than 2,000 local veterans have participated during the past 12 years.

The mission dates for 2023 are:

  • No. 63 – Thursday, April 6 (departure and homecoming) – Hannibal (TBA)
  • No. 64 – Thursday, May 11 (departure and homecoming) – Quincy (John Wood Community College)
  • No. 65 – Thursday, June 15 (departure and homecoming) – Center, Missouri (Mark Twain High School)
  • No. 66 – Thursday, August 17 (departure and homecoming) – Quincy (John Wood Community College)
  • No. 67 – Thursday, September 14 (departure and homecoming) – Hannibal (Hannibal-LaGrange University)
  • No. 68 – Thursday, October 19 (departure and homecoming) – Quincy (John Wood Community College)

Details on each flight will be made available as each date nears.

In a press release, Carlos Fernandez, chairman of Great River Honor Flight, said, “We are very excited to begin the planning process for what we believe will be yet another great year to show the appreciation and gratitude there is throughout the tri-states for our nation’s veterans.”

The Great River Honor Flight board of directors now are declaring veterans who have served before July 1, 1985, as eligible for future missions. Great River Honor Flight began in 2010 by offering this free trip to veterans who served during World War II. Eligibility since has expanded to people who served during Korea, Vietnam and the years between those conflicts. Now applications will be accepted for people who served in any capacity between 1975 to 1985.

“This is the appropriate next step to our strategy,” said Doug Reed, treasurer of the Honor Flight board. “The continued financial support given by individuals, groups and businesses, as well as memorials from those who have participated in past flights, allows us the opportunity to offer this experience to additional local veterans.”

Great River Honor Flight is increasing efforts in the marketing of these flights through broadcast, print, Internet and social media, as well as contacts with various veterans organizations throughout the region.

“We encourage all eligible veterans in the area to fill out an application,” said Toni Hatton Park, vice chair of the program.

Applications are available by going to www.greatriverhonorflight.com and filling out the forms — for both veterans and guardians — that can be found on the home page.

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