FINDLAY, Ohio — Flag City Honor Flight is back in business after a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program will resume taking veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the memorials and monuments.
Plus, to make up for lost time, Flag City will take two flights to the nation's capital, as well as two bus trips with all Vietnam War veterans, all taking place from September through November.
Since 2010, the program has served all of northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.
World War II veterans take priority. Honor Flight began nationally to get them to the monument when it first opened in 2004.
The program is free for all veterans and depends on fundraising to keep running.
This year, everyone making these trips will have to be vaccinated. This is uncharted territory — resuming trips as a pandemic subsides.
“Everyone’s got to play nice. This covid thing has to stay down. Washington, D.C. has to stay open. We go there to look at the memorials and the Unknown Soldier and the changing of the guard... if those places aren’t open because of protests or riots or whatever could possibly happen, we're not gonna fly into that," Flag City Honor Flight Executive Director Bob Weinberg said.
Dick Hemker of Findlay is an Army veteran. He served in Germany during the Cold War years. He’ll be on the first flight, which takes off on September 14. It will be his first time in D.C.
“I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity to see the different memorials and monuments and especially Arlington. I understand we may even see the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I’m sure that’s gonna be very special," Hemker said.
Here’s the lineup: the first flight and bus trip are just 10 days apart. There will be four events in two months with the all-volunteer organization.
If you’ve served in the military. or want to know more about Flag City Honor Flight, click here.