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Sarah Bush Lincoln to co-host the Flightless Honor Flight Program

September 27, 2023 11:11 a.m.

Sarah Bush Lincoln and the Coles County Council on Aging are partnering with the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight to host its first Flightless Honor Flight Program at 8:30 am on Monday, November 6, at the LifeSpan Center, 11021 E Co Rd 800N, Charleston, IL 61920.

The 90-minute program gives the veteran an experience of a tour of our nation’s capital and all the monuments that have been placed in recognition of their service via video. Each veteran should attend with a guardian– a close family relative or friend who is responsible for providing transportation and support for the veteran.

Coles County is pleased to offer more veterans the opportunity to participate in a Flightless Honor Flight. Veterans with service dates of December 31, 1946 to May 7, 1975 (average ages 73-100+), who may not be physically able to withstand the rigors of an actual Honor Flight, yet are not deemed critically ill or homebound, are invited to register for the event. Seating is limited at this event, and reservations are required. Contact Coles County Council on Aging at 217-639-5150 for a reservation.

Top priority is given to WWII veterans followed by the Korean War and Vietnam War eras. Terminally ill veterans of any of these eras are given special consideration.

Community members are encouraged to participate in the reception following the Flightless Honor Flight. This will include participating in sending letters/mail to thank our veterans, assembling in a marching reception line to parade by our seated veterans, or lining the streets waving flags as they leave the event. Cards and Letters may be mailed directly to Flightless Honor Flight, 11021 E Co Rd 800N, Charleston, IL 61920. The reception will begin at 11 am.

In 2020, the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight Program first provided a flightless program for critically ill veterans. This pre-recorded tour of the program was shown on television in a home or long-term care facility setting with a family member present. The Flightless Program for homebound/critically ill veterans may still be scheduled in a personal setting.

Since 2005, The Honor Flight Network has provided a day trip to Washington, DC to allow veterans of WWII, Korean era and Vietnam era to visit various war monuments. Over the past 17 years, more than 275,000 veterans have flown to Washington to partake in this day-long event. Approximately 22,000 veterans fly annually from 125 airport hubs to experience this honor.

Land of Lincoln Honor Flight program, located in Springfield, has provided this traditional, all-expenses-paid day trip, which begins with a 4 am flight from the Abe Lincoln Airport and returns at 10 pm. This experience has provided veterans who are still able-bodied to participate in the “ultimate experience” of the flight. Through the years, the waitlist to participate in this flight grew to 750 veterans awaiting their turn to fly. In recent years, with the pandemic and our veterans growing older, fewer have been able to physically attend the day-long festivities.

Those who are able are still encouraged to apply for the flight, and the waiting list has diminished during the past three years. In fact, the October 2023 flight was canceled due to the inability to fill the seats on the flight.

For more information, call Coles County Council on Aging at 217-639-5150.


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