Veterans of this year's Flight to Honor posing at the WWII monument.

By Sean Crumpacker

The Polk City Veterans Council has announced its plan to hold its sixth Flight to Honor Mission, currently expected to be conducted during April 2020. The flight will leave early in the morning from Lakeland Linder International Airport for the one day trip to Washington D.C. and return to the same airport later that night. Veterans will visit the war monuments and the event will provide an opportunity for the community to honor their sacrifices.

Applications for both veterans and guardians are being accepted now and finalized plans will be dependent on the number of applicants.

All veterans are eligible to apply for the Mission so long as they have not been on a previous Flight to Honor or Honor Flight Mission. There are multiple options for veterans to apply under to best suit their needs and civilians can apply as guardians at the cost of a $450 donation. The applications for both veterans and guardians can be downloaded on the Polk City Veterans Council website at http://polkveteranscouncil.com.

USAF Colonel (Ret) Gary Clark, Chairman of the Polk City Veterans Council, stated that 180 veterans and Sixth Annual Flight To Honor Mission Planned By Polk City Veterans Council guardians are hoped to be taken on 2020’s Mission 6, which is estimated to cost $98,000 and will be covered entirely by donations.

Donations made to the Flight to Honor Mission are tax-deductible and the address to send them to can be found on the Polk City Veterans Council website.

According to Colonel Clark, “The ability to continue the Flight to Honor program is totally dependent on support from our community.”

The nation can never thank veterans enough for their service, but helping to fund life-changing programs like Flight to Honor is a good way to start.

“I can’t even begin to tell you how very wonderful yesterday’s trip to D.C. was. It was a trip of a lifetime,” an unnamed veteran wrote about a previous Mission. “The welcome reception when we landed was the clincher. It gave all of us some closure to some bad memories of our return home from that war.”

Aside from donations, the Polk City Veterans Council will also be accepting volunteers. Those interested may contact flighttohonorpolk@gmail.com to ask questions and learn how to help.