SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Veterans and chaperones got an early start Tuesday morning to fly from Springfield to Washington, D.C. to tour the war memorials there. As of 9:00 p.m. Friday, a large crowd had gathered to greet veterans at the Springfield-Branson National Airport.

This is the first flight since October 2019. 

The Honor Flight of the Ozarks announced in August it was canceling all 2021 flights due to the pandemic. There were flights scheduled in June, August and October of 2021. 

Bill Dorman is one of the veterans who went on the May 2022 flight.

“It’s a tribute to the ones that went and came back…and to the ones that didn’t come back,” Dorman said.

He said many people who served didn’t necessarily get a warm welcome or even a thank you after their service and Honor Flight gives service members that experience.

“You don’t do it for the recognition, but it’s appreciated when it comes,” Dorman said.

See Sydney Moran’s interview with Dorman below:

Those who were scheduled to fly out in August 2021 were automatically put on May’s flight — which was 180 people. 

The average age of a veteran on these flights is 80 years old. Veterans have a chaperone that comes with them. They fly out early in the morning, visit war memorials, and come back late at night. Here in the Ozarks, Honor Flights typically fly out in May, June, August, and October. 

There are two more flights scheduled in August and October this year.