Spring Freedom Honor Flight Postponed
March 12, 2020, La Crosse, Wis. – Organizers from Freedom Honor Flight, the La Crosse-based hub of the national Honor Flight Network, have announced they are postponing the May 9, 2020 flight to Washington D.C. What was to have been the group’s 25th honor flight is being postponed due to the increased risk of air travel and large group gatherings associated with COVID-19.
At an emergency meeting this week, the board of directors reviewed a report prepared by Kevin Kuchar, paramedic and longtime Freedom Honor Flight board member. Based on the recommendations by Kuchar and concurrence from fellow board member, John Pershing, MD, emergency medicine physician with Gundersen Health System, the board voted to postpone the flight.
Most veterans on the flights are older adults and many have severe underlying medical conditions. According to the CDC, those individuals seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. The safety and comfort of veterans is top priority for Freedom Honor Flight. Veterans who would have been selected for the May 9 flight will be rescheduled for the next flight.
9th annual Veterans Day breakfast to take place Monday, November 11
Veterans and spouses are invited to the 9th Annual Freedom Honor Flight Veterans Day Breakfast held at the UW-La Crosse Mitchell Hall Gymnasium from 8–10 a.m. Monday, November 11. Join us for breakfast from 8–10 a.m. As is tradition, UWL student athletes host and serve at the popular event. A program begins at 8:45 a.m. which includes posting of the colors, music and speakers from Freedom Honor Flight and UWL Athletics with remarks from Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes and Wisconsin Secretary of Veteran Affairs, Mary Kolar. There will be FREE parking in Lot C2, directly across from Mitchell Hall, next to the stadium. No RSVP required. We look forward to seeing you!
Car, Truck, Motorcycle or Anything Show set for Sunday, October 6
Winona Elks Lodge #327 is hosting their annual Freedom Honor Flight Car, Truck, Motorcycle or Anything Show on Sunday, October 6. Join us again this year for the show, spaghetti dinner, bake sale and pumpkin drop all happening at the Elks Parking Lot 4540 Service Drive, Goodview, Minn.
- Car show from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Spaghetti dinner ($8) & bake sale from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Pumpkin drop at 1 p.m.
Proceeds go to Freedom Honor Flight. For questions, call 507-452-4716. For car show information, please contact Arnie Jackson at 507-454-3769.
Freedom Honor Flight sends its 24th flight
La Crosse-based Freedom Honor Flight, which serves veterans in western Wisconsin, southeast Minnesota and northern Iowa, continues its goal to fly veterans to Washington D.C. to visit the memorials that rise in their honor. Over 11 years of operation, Freedom Honor Flight has flown just shy of 3,000 area veterans.
The next flight is scheduled for September 14 and will consist of 1 WWII, 18 Korean-era and 76 Vietnam-era veterans. 5 of these Vietnam veterans have received Purple Hearts, while 2 have been awarded two Purple Hearts AND seven Bronze Stars.
A send-off ceremony will be held at the La Crosse Regional Airport at Colgan Air Hangar 4 with hangar doors opening at 6 a.m. The first stop will be to the Korean, Vietnam and Lincoln momuments, followed the WWII Memorial. Around 4 p.m., veterans will then visit Arlington National Cemetery. Before arriving to the airport in Washington D.C., veterans will have a chance to view the sunset from the Pentagon.
Freedom Honor Flight will be departing Washington D.C. around 9:35 p.m. and is expected to arrive in back into La Crosse at 11:05 p.m. Following arrival, a welcome home ceremony will be held at Colgan Air Hangar 4. Hangar doors open at 9 p.m.
Freedom Honor Flight announces 2019 flights
Freedom Honor Flight, the La Crosse-based hub of the national Honor Flight program for veterans, announced its 2019 flight schedule. The spring flight is scheduled for May 18, 2019. The fall flight is set for September 14, 2019.
Veterans on the May 18 flight will be notified in March. Veterans are selected in order of application, thoughWorld War II and Korean War veterans have priority status.
With two flights planned for 2019, Freedom Honor Flight expects to be able to serve all the World War II and Korean War veterans currently on the waiting list. The current list numbers 1 World War II veteran, 25 Korean War veterans, 572 Vietnam War veterans and 78 other veterans.
Interested World War II or Korean veteran are encouraged to apply. Physicians and paramedics accompanying each flight help with oxygen, medication and personal needs, enabling those with chronic health problems or disabilities to attend. Guardians assigned to each veteran provide additional assistance.
Applications are available online at www.freedomhonorflight.org.
Since its founding as the first Wisconsin honor flight hub, Freedom Honor Flight has flown 1,127 World War II veterans, 791 Korean War veterans and 87 Vietnam War veterans to Washington, DC, to see their memorials. In 2018, the group reached the 2,000 mark with a total of 2,005 veterans served.