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14 veterans from Washington County on May 18, 2024, Honor Flight

Washington Co., WI – Stars and Stripes Honor Flight will welcome their 10,000th local veteran on Saturday, May 18, 2024 as SSHF’s seventy-fourth “mission” departs for the nation’s capital.
Washington County, WI, will have 14 veterans on the flight out of Mitchell International; 13 Vietnam War vets and 1 Korean War vet.
Stars and Stripes Honor Flight

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Founded in 2008, the organization is proud to have reached such an incredible milestone as an all-volunteer organization. “It is truly our honor to welcome the ten thousandth local veteran to take their Stars and Stripes Honor Flight,” said Karyn Roelke, president of Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. “We are so grateful to our volunteers, our donors and our sponsors for their help in healing and thanking so many WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam veterans from southeastern Wisconsin.”
Two Southwest Airlines B-737 aircraft, an “alpha” plane, and a “bravo” plane will leave Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport at approximately 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. on flight day, bound for Washington Dulles International Airport with 115 local veterans (and their guardians) on board.
On that day, the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight will welcome one, 98-year-old WWII veteran, 7 Korean War veterans, and 107 veterans of the Vietnam War and Vietnam Era.
The 10,000th veteran will participate in the “bravo” flight and is a Vietnam Army infantry veteran who will be surprised with the news, and with some fanfare, as they check in for the flight.
After the planes land in the Washington DC area on flight day, the veterans will board coach buses to tour Washington DC’s WWII Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Air Force Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Wall, and more. The day will also include viewing the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.

Veterans’ families and friends and the general public are encouraged to attend the Homecoming parades at Mitchell Airport that evening. The two planes are scheduled to land back at Mitchell Airport at 8:05 p.m. (alpha) and 9:20 p.m. (bravo).

The Kettle Moraine High School Marching Band and the New Berlin Eisenhower Cheer Team will provide spirit for the Homecoming festivities.

The flight is sponsored in full by the Ken Yontz Valor Fund, a Minnesota-based philanthropic fund whose mission is to enhance the lives of veterans and their families.
Prior to the May 18 flight, the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight has flown 9,955 local veterans on these trips to Washington DC since 2008 and has honored more than 50 veterans locally who were not able to fly.
As an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff and no offices, the organization is proud to share that $.97 of every donated dollar goes directly to flying and honoring veterans.
Many of our oldest veterans are unable to visit Washington DC without assistance, and many need the closure and healing that an Honor Flight can bring to the twilight of their lives. Nationally, hubs in the Honor Flight Network have taken more than 250,000 veterans to see their memorials.
Timeline of activities for the Saturday, May 18 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight:
5:00 am – Alpha tour veterans and their guardians begin check in on Mitchell Airport’s main concourse
5:50 am – National Anthem by Brewers vocalist Bob Kozlowski in the alpha departure gate area
6:00 am – 10,000th veteran and all bravo tour veterans begin check in on airport main concourse
6:30 am – “Alpha” flight departs for Dulles Airport; water cannon salute on runway (weather permitting)
7:30 am – “Bravo” flight departs for Dulles Airport; water cannon salute on runway (weather permitting)
9:00 am – 10:00 am (ET) – Flights arrive at Dulles Airport, load buses for DC tour
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm (ET) – Return to Dulles Airport, load planes for departure back to MKE

8:05 pm (CT, approximate) and 9:30 pm (CT, approximate) – Return flights land at Mitchell Int’l Airport, veterans deplane for a parade through the airport’s main concourse.

The Kettle Moraine High School Marching Band and the New Berlin Eisenhower Cheer Team will provide spirit and entertainment for the Homecoming parades. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend the celebration.

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