Freedom Honor Flight will provide friendly skies to a group of Coulee-area veterans on May 7

DC from the air. (Freedom Honor Flight website)

LA CROSSE (WKBT) – More than 100 Coulee-area veterans prepare for May 7 on the 26th Freedom Honor Flight trip to view memorials built in their honor and other sites in Washington, D.C.

flight logoThe flight will include 97 Vietnam War-era veterans, nine from the Korean War generation and one World War II veteran scheduled for the trip. Veterans fly for free, accompanied by volunteer tutors who pay themselves.

The public is invited to attend the morning send-off and evening welcome ceremonies at Colgan Air’s Hangar 4 at La Crosse Regional Airport. Ample parking is available with a shuttle service, provided for this flight by volunteer UPS employees.

The hangar doors will open at 5 a.m. and a brief ceremony will precede the American Airlines charter flight, scheduled for 6:55 a.m. The welcome ceremony between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. will include a La Crosse Skyrockers fireworks display . The Westby High School Marching Band will be performing – a highlight that is sure to delight attendees of Westby’s Freedom Honor Flight. The hangar doors will open at 7 p.m.

The flight usually includes the World War II Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Pentagon National September 11 Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery and others sites via luxury coaches.

The veterans will be accompanied by a doctor and four paramedics from Gundersen Health System and a doctor from Mayo Clinic Health System, all from the La Crosse area. Both health systems are longtime supporters of Freedom Honor Flight, providing the paid services of medical professionals at no cost to the organization, in addition to paying for their flights.

Many Honor Flight veterans are elderly and dependent on medical care for a safe and comfortable experience.

Freedom Honor Flight in La Crosse is the first Wisconsin branch of the nationwide network of Honor Flight organizations. The La Crosse hub serves 30 counties in western Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota and northern Iowa.
More information is available on the group website.

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