A salute for veterans: Honor Flight takes to the skies again Aug. 27

First flight is Saturday Aug. 27

After a long pandemic hiatus, Honor Flight Dayton is resuming its escort of veterans to national memorials.

The first trip will be an American Airlines charter flight Saturday, Aug. 27.

The roll call includes 103 Second World War, Korean War and Vietnam War-era veterans, with 86 guardians and Honor Flight staff, the organization said. The day before, wheelchairs will be delivered to the airport.

“It’s wonderful,” organizer Ray Girard said. “We certainly missed it during the cold pandemic. It’s really a great thing.”

“The Dayton International Airport is proud to be the host airport and work with Honor Flight of Dayton in this great opportunity to honor our veterans,” said Gil Turner, Dayton aviation director.

On the morning of the trip, staff and 75 volunteers will be in place at 2:30 a.m., ready to welcome veterans arriving between 3 and 4 a.m. The boarding process begins at 5:30 a.m.

While in Washington D.C., veterans will visit the Second World War Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, Vietnam War Wall Memorial and more.

“It is an exciting, long, and emotional day for them,” the organization said in a release. “Many of the 6,000 veterans that have previously been on an (Honor Flight) trip have stated that this was one of the best things that happened to them. Being thanked by perfect strangers for their sacrifices decades ago is a life-changing event for the veterans.”

Veterans are expected to return at about 9 p.m. the same day.

For those who want to greet their return, it is suggested you arrive at around 8 p.m. Aug. 27.

There may be a crowd, Girard cautioned.

“I started this job back in 2005. It was 100 people (greeting the returning veterans). Now it’s about 2,000,” he said.

About the Author