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Land of Lincoln Honor Flight’s mission is to provide round trip transportation from Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport in Springfield, Illinois for veterans in order of their service (WWII, Korean Era and Vietnam Era) who wish to visit their memorials in Washington, D.C. This one day trip includes air and ground transportation, meals and snacks, t-shirt and cap, and other items provided completely free of charge to the veteran in honor of his/her service to our country.
Guns Save Life is putting together a group to fly with Honor Flight out of Springfield through the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight. It will probably happen in April 2024 (final date is to be announced and it might even happen in October 2023).
If you are a Vietnam-era veteran or older you are eligible to go free of charge. If you know any veterans who served during Vietnam or earlier, they are welcome to go at no charge as well.
If you or your veteran live outside the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight’s Central Illinois region, you/they can still go with our group on the flight if you/they can travel to Springfield as part of our “group.”
Please submit completed applications to your local GSL Regional Directors, ideally before the end of May. If you do send them directly to Land of Lincoln Honor Flight, make sure you clearly mark them as for the GSL group in April 2024. Both we at GSL and the HF peeps would rather we collected them all and submitted them together in May-ish of this year.
We have room for about 90-95 veterans and it’s generally first come, first served.
Each of the veterans can request a specific guardian (some limitations including age – must be 18-70 – and spouses are not allowed to come along unless they are an eligible veteran as well). If the veterans don’t have a friend or family member to accompany them, Honor Flight does have some “free agent” guardians.
If you would like to serve as a free agent guardian, complete the guardian application and submit it to your local GSL regional director for consideration on this flight, or to Land of Lincoln Honor Flight for consideration for other flights.
Guardians will have to pay their own ticket for the trip (about $525), but the memories you will bring home from your role helping a veteran will last you forever and they are priceless.
This is for more than just GSL members… it’s for our friends, our family members, our neighbors and others too. Land of Lincoln Honor Flight is basically using GSL to fill this flight. We have a LOT of veterans at our meetings in this age group. Please sign up. Please encourage any loved ones, friends, neighbors or acquaintances to sign up as well.
For more recent veterans: Honor Flight does have a provision for younger vets who are terminally ill to get onto a flight. If that describes someone you know, have them contact Honor Flight directly and they will typically put them near the front of the line. Also WWII vets will get express scheduling as well I’m told.
If we have an outpouring of applicants, we’ll reserve a second flight.
General idea of what to expect with this particular Honor Flight: They have a dinner in Springfield early the evening beforehand for the veterans and their guardians. From there, they recommend a hotel nearby because those on the flight will need to be at the airport at around 4 a.m. Yes, oh dark hundred. Flight leaves around 5am or so, and once in Washington, the group boards four motor coaches where they are escorted around about eight memorials, Arlington National Cemetery and the Smithsonian. The group then flies back to Springfield and arrives at around 10pm to a crowd of a few hundred family members and well-wishers.
Here’s some video from an Honor Flight group. It’s not embeddable, but go ahead and watch it on YouTube.
Here’s another that isn’t blocked.
Honor Flight groups are extremely receptive to those with mobility issues and even health issues. Don’t feel like because you might need a wheelchair to navigate that you’re an impediment. They have lots of experience and make all the necessary accommodations. They also have medical staff present on all of the planes/buses.
This is a life-changing experience, full of emotions. The memories are priceless and people get emotional just recalling the experience. If you have a Vietnam-era veteran or older, talk with them and get them to sign up.