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Springfield, Effingham Honor Flights Merge
The waiting list for a Springfield group that flies veterans to Washington D.C. is about to get longer.
Land of Lincoln Honor Flights, which flies out of the Springfield airport, is now flying veterans from the Decatur and Effingham areas, too, after the president of Central Illinois Honor Flights, based in Effingham, stepped down. The Springfield group is already overbooked with a waiting list of more than 400 vets wanting to fly to the Capitol to experience the military memorials.
Its president thinks there may be an additional 150 to 200 veterans coming over from the other group.
"Whatever World War II veteran we have on our list will always be offered the first flight, and then Korean, and then Vietnam," said Joan Bortolon. "So we will merge their World War II veterans with our remaining World War II veterans, and they will be offered a flight by date of their application."
Bortolon said other veterans might be bumped back a flight as a result.
Land of Lincoln Honor Flights takes veterans free of charge for the one-day Washington visit. Any aides who come along are charged $400.
There are no less than five trips a year, and Bortolon said the new additions could mean another flight in the fall. The second honor flight leaves Springfield Tuesday morning.