BETTENDORF, Iowa — The 53rd Honor Flight of the Quad Cities will take off from the Quad Cities International Airport Tuesday morning, May 24, and it will mark a local milestone.
The flight will include nearly 100 veterans, eight of whom are women. That is the most women on a single flight in Quad Cities Honor Flight history, according to honor flight leaders.
"I was just so proud to serve my country," said Julia Nixon, a U.S. Navy veteran who served during the Vietnam era.
Betty Hagberg, another Navy veteran, will be among the eight women on the flight, too.
"It makes you feel really proud you were able to serve your country," Hagberg said.
The group will be making a special stop at the women's memorial in Washington, D.C., which is not a typical stop during the trip, flight commander Debbie Geisler said.
"It's an honor to have something specifically for women, you know because we're fewer in numbers but we played a big role," Hagberg said.
Geisler said the trip will showcase the pride each veteran has for their country, especially for the eight women on the flight.
"Just because they didn't fight doesn't mean they didn't contribute," Geisler said. "So we really want them to understand we appreciate them as a veteran."
The 53rd honor flight will be the 12th flight sponsored by Hy-Vee, according to a statement from the company.
The flight will leave Tuesday at about 6 a.m. from the Quad Cities International Airport and return at about 10 p.m.
The public is invited to attend a welcome home party for the veterans in the airport terminal.