Honor flight scheduled for middle of spring ‘10

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Covington Regional Honor Flight board president Tonitta Sauls said the next honor flight will more than likely be either the last weekend in April or the first weekend in May.

“Barring some unexpected change, it will be one of those dates,” she said. “We are still negotiating with some companies as far as the flight plans go. We’d like to be able to simplify the flight plan from last year’s plan.”

Covington County’s first honor flight in May 2009 gave more than 40 World War II veterans the chance to visit the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C. The veterans took an early morning flight to the nation’s capital, visited the memorial and Arlington National Cemetery, and then returned home later that same day.

Sauls explained that public and private contributions make it possible for veterans to take honor flights free of charge. Guardians, media, and other staff pay their own way for the flights.

“Our contribution letters have gone out and we’re in the process now of asking for contributions for this year’s flight,” she said. “We want to bring it back to the forefront of our civic groups, once more, because they were extremely helpful in making the event a success last time.”

Those who wish to contribute to the travel expense may send tax-deductible contributions to: CHRF, c/o Covington County Commission, P.O. Box 188, Andalusia, AL 36420.

World War II veterans will have first priority on this year’s honor flight, followed by Korean War veterans. The flight is for veterans who did not have the opportunity to attend last year’s honor flight, or any other honor flight. However, veterans who have already flown on an honor flight are welcome to pay their own way and attend as a guardian for another veteran.

Sauls said the CHRF hopes to have between 75-100 people, counting veterans, for this year’s flight. In addition, there will be a required orientation meeting that all veterans and guardians will need to attend before flying.

Those who are veterans of either World War II or the Vietnam War, or know a veteran of either war who is interested in applying for an honor flight seat, may pick up an application at the Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce, the Opp & Covington County Chamber of Commerce or the Veterans Administration office at the Covington County administration building. They may also call Sauls at 334-493-3070.