Bring on the red, white, and blue and let freedom ring with Central Missouri Honor Flight (CMHF) on July 5!

Bring on the red, white, and blue and let freedom ring with Central Missouri Honor Flight (CMHF) on July 5! Making this flight will be 111 area veterans deserving of a trip to Washington, D.C. to see the memorials dedicated to their military service. Honor Flight #53 features heroes from WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam War—all flying at no cost thanks to the generosity of those who donate to the all-volunteer organization.

The veterans on CMHF #53 will enjoy a one-day tour of the WWII Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Battle of Iwo Jima Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery. At the Tomb of the Unknowns, our honor flight veterans are quietly and respectfully acknowledged during the Changing of the Guard.

CMHF’s 53rd mission departs Columbia at 1:45am Thursday, July 5, and returns to a rousing homecoming at 9:30pm at the Columbia Courtyard Marriott. Traveling with the veterans will be a medical team as well as guardians who assist veterans with wheelchairs, walkers, oxygen and companionship on the flight. CMHF began in 2009 and has safely flown more than 3,700 veterans to the nation’s capital. Because of the declining number of heroes from the “Greatest Generation,” the honor flights consist predominately of Korean War veterans and Vietnam War veterans. Many guardians participating on the flights are themselves veterans of the Vietnam, Desert Storm, OEF and OIF conflicts. More than 500 veterans remain on the waiting list for upcoming honor flights.

If you would like to contribute or apply to assist as a volunteer, go to www.centralmissourihonorflight.com for more information. It costs $300 to sponsor a veteran on the Honor Flight.  

Homecoming at the Courtyard Marriott, 3301 Lemone Industrial Drive, Columbia is a highlight! The public is encouraged to arrive at approximately 8:00pm on Thursday, July 5 to get a good view of the returning veterans and observe the inspirational flag ceremony in the hotel parking lot. Come cheer on our honor flight veterans as they arrive in Columbia!

Seeing members of the public waiting to greet them is sadly exactly the opposite homecoming that our veterans faced when returning from combat. This homecoming is the “welcome home” that so many of our veterans never received.

With a return time of 9:30pm on Thursday, July 5, bring the family and give these veterans a loud and proud “welcome home!” We celebrate in freedom today and every day because of the burdens these area honor flight veterans carried with untold strength.