SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA)– Land of Lincoln Honor Flight is taking it’s 61st flight on Tuesday July 19th.

96 Veterans will be on board from Abraham Lincoln Capitol Airport to Washington, DC.

Veterans on board range from World War 1, World War 2, The Korean War, and the Vietnam War. 16 are Air Force, 56 Army, 4 Marines, and 20 Navy Veterans.

The 96 Veterans and their 82 family members will arrive that Tuesday morning from 65 Illinois cities or villages: Beason, Bismarck, Bloomington, Brighton, Carlyle, Carrollton, Casey, Cerro Gordo, Charleston, Chatham, Clinton, Coffeen, Decatur, East Alton, , Effingham, Franklin, Georgetown, Gifford, Girard, Godfrey, Greenfield, Greenup, Griggsville, Homer, Hoopeston,  Jacksonville, Jerseyville, Lawrenceville, Lincoln, Litchfield, Manito, Maroa, Mason, Mason City, Mattoon, Moweaqua, Normal, Oakwood, Pana, Petersburg,  Pleasant Plains, Robinson, Roxana, South Jacksonville, Salem, San Jose, Shelbyville, Sidell, Springfield, St Joseph, Stonington, Streator, Sumner, Taylorville, Tolono, Towanda, Tower Hill, Trenton, Trivoli,  Urbana, Waterloo, Waverly and Whitehall as well as from Flemington, Missouri  and Perrysville, Indiana.

Joan Bortolon, LLHF President, states: “It is a privilege for us to serve these Veterans who served our country.  These 96 veterans answered the country’s call to defend our way of life and secure our freedom.   We are looking forward to honoring them as they visit the national memorials dedicated to their service.  This day of honor is provided at absolutely no cost to our Veterans.  They have paid enough; it is our turn to pay them back.”

Veterans travel to Ronald Reagan National Airport on a charterd Sun Country 737. Once there they board luxury motorcoaches and tour the World War 2, Korean, and Vietnam War memorials, the Arlignton National Cemetary Tomb of the Unknowns, The Lincoln Memorial, The National Air & Space Museum, the US Marine Corps Memorial, and the US Air Force Memorial.

The heroes will return to Springfield that evening. Bortolon states: “Most of our Veterans did not receive a welcome home upon their discharge – a welcome home and thank you they earned and deserve.  It is a very memorable and healing part of the Honor Flight experience and the Springfield crowds never disappoint them.   We appreciate every member of the general public who makes the effort to participate.”  Greeters are encouraged to arrive early and show appreciation for and support of these Veterans who sacrificed so much for our country.  Parking assistance and a parking lot shuttle bus will be available for those attending this event.

Land of Lincoln Honor Flight is a non-profit organization. They are only able to do these flights through donations, sponsorships, fundraising events, merchandise sales, and support from local businesses and other organizations.

Veteran applications are still being accepted with flight priority to World War 2, Korean War Era, and followed by Vietnam War Era Veterans.

Any terminally ill veteran should contact LLHF. Applications may be obtained at www.LandofLincolnHonorFlight.org

Since 2009 the LLHF has served 4,730 veterans on 61 flights. 2022 flights are planned for July 19th, August 30th, September 27th, and November 1st.