Freedom Honor Flight, the La Crosse hub of the national Honor Flight program for veterans, recently announced its 2018 flight schedule. The spring flight is scheduled for May 12. The fall flight is set for Sept. 15. The organization has taken more than 2,000 veterans on a flight to date. The 2018 flights will be the 21st and 22nd held.
There are currently three World War II veterans, 82 Korean War era veterans, 466 Vietnam veterans and 65 others on the waiting list. Veterans for the flights are selected in order of application, though World War II and Korea veterans have priority status. The group encourages World War II and Korean War veterans to apply for future flights. Officials also remind the public that all veterans in the Freedom Honor Flight service area are eligible to apply for an honor flight. Physicians and paramedics accompanying each flight help with oxygen, medication and personal needs, enabling those with chronic health problems or disabilities to attend. Volunteer guardians assigned to each veteran provide additional assistance.
Due to the increasing cost of flights, with aircraft operating fees alone reaching $90,000, the nonprofit continues to rely on support from the region’s businesses and individuals. This July 4, Festival Foods will again partner with Freedom Honor Flight for an icon sale, accepting donations of $1 and $5. Participating Festivals in Holmen, La Crosse Copeland Avenue, La Crosse Village, Onalaska and Tomah locations will participate in the event, June 24-July 8. Last year, Festival customers donated nearly $20,000 through the promotion.
Freedom Honor Flight veteran applications are available online at www.freedomhonorflight.org. Veterans can apply directly online or print and mail their application to Freedom Honor Flight, P.O. Box 505, La Crosse WI 54602-0505.