Local veterans prepare for a trip to the nation’s capital

By Ryne Turke on June 7 at 11:05am

Several veterans from West Central Illinois have been selected to take part in the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight to Washington D.C. on Tuesday.

This will be 27th flight for the Springfield based Land of Lincoln Honor Flight organization, which will include local veterans Gerald Beard, Richard Johnson and Leroy Garrison from Jacksonville, David Kuehl from New Berlin, Gale Dixon from Greenfield and Randall Peters from Carrollton.

John Dust, Media Marketing volunteer for the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight, says the trip will include 89 veterans from several different eras of wars who served in branches of the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines.

“We have 18 World War II vets, 28 Korean and 43 Vietnam vets on board.”

Dust says the veterans will begin the free, one-day trip with a 6:15 a.m. flight out of the Springfield Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport, taking them to some of the most prolific sites in our nation’s capital.

“They get to see the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial,” says Dust.

“They will also get to see the Enola Gay, which is the B-29 bomber which dropped the atom bomb during WW II. We will drive past the Pentagon and they will see where the aircraft went in during 9/11 as well. We always end the day at Arlington Cemetery where veterans will see the Tomb of the Unknown Solider and the Changing of the Guard.”

The veterans will also visit the World War II, Korean and Vietnam Memorials, which were built in honor of the wars they fought in.

The veterans will arrive back in Springfield at around 9:30 p.m. to conclude their trip.

The non profit organization, which started in March of 2009, hopes to make at least five flights this year. To learn more about the program go online to landoflincolnflight.org.