COVID-19 Grounds Honor Flights for the Rest of the Year

June 13, 2020

Photo credit Honor Flight Network

There will be no Honor Flights for the remainder of this year.

The Honor Flight Network announced on Friday that it will extend its mandatory suspension of all trips through 2020 due to continued uncertainty around COVID-19. 

According to a release, the network  estimates that more than 20,000 veterans would have traveled to Washington, DC this year to see the memorials built in honor of those who have served. Honor Flight also expected to reach the milestone of providing these free trips to a quarter million veterans since the network was founded 15 years ago.    

The network  began announcing incremental trip suspensions on March 11 in an effort to only postpone trips when absolutely necessary.

“Unfortunately, large-group travel is expected to remain a risk for the remainder of the year for the vulnerable population of veterans served by Honor Flight,” the  release states.

The vast majority of  veterans who participate in Honor Flights fall into Centers for Disease Control’s high-risk category for contracting the virus.

“Many of the veterans also live in community settings, such as retirement homes or assisted living facilities, where the risk of spreading illness is extremely high,’ reads the release.

 The 125 hubs that comprise the Honor Flight Network have adjusted their mission in creative ways to continue honoring veterans during the trip suspensions. These volunteer-powered hubs have arranged such activities as “thank you” card campaigns for veterans, virtual birthday celebrations for local military heroes, and virtual classroom appearances where veterans shared their stories of service with high school students.

“While the decision to end trips for the remainder of the year was a difficult decision, it will give hubs the opportunity to fundraise, reschedule and recruit for trips in 2021,” the release said.

The Honor Flight Network will continue until every veteran has experienced our national memorials to service.

Since 2005, the Honor Flight Network has taken more than 240,000 veterans to Washington D.C. to visit memorials dedicated to honoring the sacrifices of those who served. For more information, visit here.

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