WATERLOO, Iowa --- A local Honor Flight for World War II veterans may turn into several.
More than 200 vets in the Cedar Valley applied for a chance to fly from the Waterloo Regional Airport to Washington, D.C., and see their national memorial.
The demand is so high that local organizers with Sullivan-Hartogh-Davis American Legion Post 730 are contemplating a second and possible third Honor Flight in 2011, organizer Craig White said.
"We're looking at two flights full and starting on a third," White said.
An initial flight from Waterloo was planned for June but may be moved up to April, he added, given the urgency of getting aging veterans to make the trip as soon as possible while they are able to do so. A second flight may happen in June from Cedar Rapids, and another Waterloo flight is being considered in September.
White has been working on an Honor Flight originating from the Waterloo airport in cooperation with Eastern Iowa Honor Flight in Cedar Rapids, which began flights out of the Eastern Iowa Airport last year. A major portion of veterans making those trips were from the Cedar Valley.
American Pattern & CNC Works in Cedar Falls will be a principal sponsor of the flight out of Waterloo, having donated $100,000. White said he's looking for additional major sponsors for the added 2011 trips.
"A couple more wouldn't hurt," he said. "People do not realize the costs involved."
At least one other business is already getting involved. Miracle Car Wash, 2727 University Ave., will donate proceeds from each paid full-service customer on Veterans Day, which is Thursday.
Donations to the local Honor Flight effort can be made out to SHD Post 730 Honor Flight and sent to 1563 Oakwood Drive, Waterloo, IA 50703. Cost per seat averages $550.
Earl Morse of Ohio, a retired Air Force captain, founded Honor Flight in 2004. The national nonprofit organization's objective is to get as many World War II veterans as possible to the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., free of charge.