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Cedar Valley Honor Flight still set for takeoff

Cedar Valley Honor Flight still set for takeoff

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Ninety-two Cedar Valley military veterans and their guardians prepare for takeoff from the Waterloo Regional Airport, bound for Washington, D.C., on the 22nd Cedar Valley Honor Flight.

WATERLOO — The COVID-19 pandemic could ground the next Cedar Valley Honor Flight.

But the scheduled May 27 trip for veterans to fly from the Waterloo Regional Airport to visit military memorials in Washington, D.C., remains on the schedule for now, said Frank Magsamen, one of the organizers.

“Ours is still scheduled unless we hear otherwise,” Magsamen said. “Obviously we’ll follow the guidelines of the national Honor Flight organization.”

The national Honor Flight Network has postponed all trips through the end of April in response to growing coronavirus health concerns. That led to the cancellation of an April 22 flight out of Cedar Rapids.

“The Board of Directors made this difficult decision following an alert issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which advised that adults over the age of 60 are particularly at risk of infection and should avoid all non-essential air travel,” the national network said on its website.

“Unfortunately, the vast majority of our veterans fall into the CDC’s high-risk category,” it continued. “Many of our veterans also live in community settings, such as retirement homes or assisted living facilities, where the risk of spreading illness is extremely high.”

Magsamen said any changes in the Cedar Valley Honor Flight plans would be communicated to scheduled participants. If the May flight should get postponed, the organization likely would try to reschedule veterans on a September flight.

Cedar Valley Honor Flight has transported more than 2,200 veterans to Washington on 25 flights, all free of charge, since it began.

Meanwhile, Magsamen said the local organization is evaluating its planned April 18 variety show at Electric Park Ballroom. A decision is expected in the next few days on whether the event, which is a fundraiser for the Honor Flight, needs to be rescheduled.

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