Land of Lincoln Honor Flight Mission 62 is preparing for take off on Tuesday, Aug. 30.

Ninety-six veterans (one World War II, two Korean War and 93 Vietnam War Era) will be on board this flight from Springfield Abraham Lincoln Capitol Airport to Washington, D.C.

These veterans and their 82 guardians will arrive at the airport Tuesday at 4:15 a.m, having traveled from the 54 central and southern Illinois cities and communities of Argenta, Athens, Auburn, Batchtown, Beardstown, Brighton, Brussels, Bunker Hill, Carlinville, Carrollton, Champaign, Charleston, Chatham, Chrisman, Collinsville, Decatur, East Peoria, Effingham, Glen Carbon, Godfrey, Havana, Highland, Ivesdale, Jacksonville, Jerseyville, Jewett, LeRoy, Lewistown, Lincoln, Manito, Maroa, Mason City, Mattoon, Meredosia, Monticello, Mt. Pulaski, Mt. Zion, Neoga, Normal, Oakford, Oakley, Paris, Petersburg, Pleasant Plains, Quincy, Rantoul, Robinson, Sherman, Springfield, Taylorville, Urbana and Worden as well as from Eureka, MO, Las Vegas, NV, Tatumsville, KY and North Port, FL.

The passengers will travel to Washington, D.C., on a chartered Sun Country 737 aircraft and by luxury motorcoaches on the ground upon arrival. The day includes visits to the World War II, Korean and Vietnam War memorials, as well as Arlington National Cemetery Tomb of the Unknowns, the Lincoln Memorial, the National Air & Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia, the US Marine Corps Memorial, and the US Air Force Memorial. This day of honor is provided at absolutely no cost to veterans. All of Land of Lincoln Honor Flight operations are funded through private donations.

“We are looking forward to serving our veterans on Honor Flight 62. These veterans served with honor to defend our freedom and earned this day of gratitude and respect. This day of honor is provided at absolutely no cost to our veterans. They have paid enough; it is our turn to pay them back,” said LLHF President Joan Bortolon.

The veterans will return to the newly renovated Springfield airport at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The general public, friends and family, and LLHF alumni veterans are encouraged to pack the airport to welcome them home.

“The Welcome Home crowd at the Springfield Airport ensures that these veterans receive the welcome home they earned and deserve. Most of our veterans did not receive a welcome home upon their discharge and have told us that the welcome home in Springfield is one of the most rewarding parts of the experience,” said Bortolon.

Greeters are encouraged to arrive early and show appreciation for and support of the veterans. Parking assistance and a parking lot shuttle bus will be available for those attending the event.

Land of Lincoln Honor Flight is a 501©3 nonprofit organization that receives no government funding. It is only able to honor veterans due to the donations, sponsorships, fundraising events, merchandise sales and supporting efforts of the many local businesses, individuals and organizations within its service area. Land of Lincoln Honor Flight is operated by all volunteers; it has no paid staff, no office and no utilities costs. The ongoing administrative cost is approximately 1%, so virtually every dollar raised supports flight costs for veterans.

Land of Lincoln Honor Flight still has a waiting list of over 500 veterans waiting for a future flight. However, LLHF is still encouraging new applications. Veterans will be offered flights by date of application within each service era: World War II (enlisted by 12/31/1946), then Korean War Era (01/01/1947 to 12/31/1957), followed by the Vietnam War Era (01/01/1958 to 05/07/1975). Any certified terminally ill Veteran should contact LLHF directly. Veteran and Guardian Applications may be obtained at www.LandofLincolnHonorFlight.org by clicking on Applications tab.

Since the inception in 2009, Land of Lincoln Honor Flight has served 4,827 veterans on 62 flights. Additional 2022 flights are planned for Sept. 27 and Nov. 1.

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