MOLINE, Ill. — After nearly a year and a half of canceled events due to the pandemic, Honor Flight of the Quad Cities is putting plans in motion to resume flights for the fall of 2021.
Honor Flight Quad Cities board member David Woods agrees it’s been far too long saying, “These guys going through that crowd, you’ll see them light up.”
The nonprofit flies veterans from World War Two, the Vietnam War, and the Korean War to Washington D.C. to view monuments in their honor. Woods is a Vietnam Veteran himself, and he’s gotten to take the flight 15 to 20 times.
He was on the 50th flight, the last one before the flights were cancelled due to the pandemic. Woods saying, “It was especially hard to call the Vets who were going out on the next flights and say, 'By the way you can’t go. We have to postpone it.'”
Four flights have been canceled since then. The nonprofit is aiming for September or October for their first flight back.
The flight is a day trip that allows veterans to tour memorials and then fly back that night to a hero’s welcome. Woods says it’s a day many of these Vets wait for, “They’re anxious to go. They want to get out and see their memorial while they still can.”
Woods says they’re just waiting for the green light from the national Honor Flight organization. “Hopefully September or October we can start getting a few guys out there, and they can see what they deserve.”
Woods says every time is a special time. “It’s very good. It’s always heart wrenching when you take a Vietnam Vet to the wall, and they'll look up a buddy of theirs that was killed. You'll see how emotional it gets to the veteran.”
Woods says it’s tough there are no Memorial Day flights this year, but veterans can be reassured this time is not going to waste. “We can start planning.”
These veterans are ready for a return to the memorials built to honor their sacrifices and the welcome home some may have never received.