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Kansas Honor Flight departing on first trip of 2013
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HUTCHINSON — Honor Flights are still going on in Kansas, and 27 World War II veterans will be headed to Washington, D.C., Wednesday morning.
They’ll be flying from Wichita and Kansas City courtesy of the Hutchinson-based Kansas Honor Flight program, for an expense-paid two-night stay in the nation’s capital. Kansas Honor Flight President Mike VanCampen said the latest flight includes some veterans who applied as far back as 2008 through the Central Prairie Honor Flight program.
Central Prairie Honor Flight operated out of Great Bend until it lost its national affiliation in 2012. Kansas Honor Flights formed a short time later and has conducted several flights in the past year.
“We didn’t get very many of the paper applications (from the Great Bend organization) but they sent an Excel spreadsheet,” VanCampen said. “We call veterans in the order they submitted their applications.” After checking the flight manifest he said none of the veterans scheduled for this trip are from Barton County.
Veterans will visit the World War II Memorial that honors their service 70 years ago, as well as other memorials and museums. A highlight of the trip is to visit Arlington National Cemetery to witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown, VanCampen said. He encourages the public to welcome the veterans home when they return to the Kansas City airport at 4:15 p.m. Friday, or to the Wichita airport at 4:45.
The next flight is planned for May 15-17, and additional trips are scheduled throughout the summer and fall. Honor Flights are also offered to Korean and Vietnam veterans, although the priority is World War II veterans, because of their age. Eligible veterans and their families are encouraged to contact Kansas Honor Flight by calling 620-546-2400 or visit the website, to find more information.