WATERLOO — Cedar Valley Honor Flight is looking for veterans to join the organization’s eighth year of trips to military memorials in the nation’s capital.
The nonprofit group has scheduled the flights from the Waterloo Regional Airport to Washington, D.C., on May 7 and Sept. 10. A tentative October trip could happen based on whether enough applications are received.
“We’re looking for applicants to fill the flights,” said Craig White, co-chair of Cedar Valley Honor Flight. “We don’t have enough right now.”
The flights, which are free to participants, take veterans to the national World War II, Korea and Vietnam memorials as well as Arlington National Cemetery and several other stops. They return to a hero’s welcome at the airport later in the night.
Applicants must have served in the U.S. armed forces between Dec. 7, 1941, and May 7, 1975, covering World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Cold War, but are not required to have served in-country during the conflicts.
Veterans from Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Grundy and the northern half of Tama counties are eligible for flights from the Waterloo hub. But organizations from neighboring counties have held fundraisers to help their vets secure a seat.
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Frank Magsamen, who co-chairs the Cedar Valley Honor Flight, said the two scheduled flights this year will be the 24th and 25th out of Waterloo since the program started eight years ago.
“About 2,200 veterans have gone out to Washington, D.C., on these flights,” Magsamen said. “What makes it all work is that we have enough funds to do them.”
Each trip costs more than $100,000 and the costs keep increasing. Cedar Valley Honor Flights hold fundraising events throughout the year, including its annual variety show slated for April 13 at Electric Park Ballroom.
Applications for the flight are available at Hy-Vee stores or can be downloaded from the Cedar Valley Honor Flight website. Information about the trips and donating also can be found online at cedarvalleyhonorflights.org.
Veterans or their families who are unable to access the website or get applications from the stores can call Magsamen at (319) 830-8807 or White at (319) 215-7104.