SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Honor Flight of the Ozarks for August and October have been canceled.
All Honor Flights for 2020 were grounded due to the pandemic, and COVID-19 is once again impacting the ability to fly veterans out to Washington D.C.
About 180 people, including veterans, guardians, and volunteers, were scheduled to fly in August, but all flights will be postponed until 2022.
The Honor Flights only fly during certain months. For Springfield, they run in April or May, August, and October.
The flights leave early in the morning, allowing participants to visit memorials in D.C., then fly back home the same day.
The flight is free to veterans, and fundraisers are held throughout the year to raise money so that everyone who wants to go can.
The average age of the veterans who participate is 80-years-old, so it is important to the Honor Flight organization to keep them healthy and safe, even if that means canceling the flights.
“These veterans when they go on these flights are looking for a carefree, enjoyable day. To go back and reminisce or see a brother’s name on the wall. And to go back to Washington D.C. and have that hanging over their head, could somebody get sick off of this flight, that’s not an enjoyable day. So it’s just not worth it,” says Flight Coordinator Mike Totten.
The veterans and guardians that were selected for the August flight this year will be automatically enrolled in the May 2022 flight, and the money raised for this year’s flights will go towards the flights next year.