WATERLOO — You might say Cedar Valley Honor Flight is going “24/7” in 2018.
It’s the seventh year the organization has sponsored trips for military veterans to see Washington, D.C., memorials honoring them.
“By the end of this year, we’ll have done 24 flights,” said Frank Magsamen, Cedar Valley Honor Flight co-organizer and Black Hawk County supervisor.
Flights are planned May 22, Sept. 25 and Oct. 23 from the Waterloo Regional Airport. They’re not cheap.
“It takes nearly $900 a day to do these” over the course of a year, Magsamen said.
“When we book three flights, it costs $300,000. We have to take in gifts to cover that cost,” Magsamen said.
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Honor Flight volunteers are confident money will be raised.
“We’re not going to book the flights without the assurance we’ll have funding for them,” Magsamen said.
The one-day trips include visits to the national World War II, Korea and Vietnam memorials as well as Arlington National Cemetery and other stops. Flights are open to veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Cold War from the late 1940s through the mid-1970s. Veterans from Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Grundy and the northern half of Tama counties are eligible for the Waterloo flights. There are other Honor Flight hubs elsewhere in the state, including Cedar Rapids.
About 180 people have signed up for this year’s flights out of Waterloo. There is still room on the third trip. Applications are available at Hy-Vee stores or can be printed out from the Cedar Valley Honor Flight webpage online. Information on how to donate also is available at that website, cedarvalleyhonorflights.org. The organization also has a Facebook page.
The local Honor Flight’s annual Variety Show fundraiser is scheduled April 14 at Electric Park Ballroom.