Veterans of Flight to Honor Mission #5 visited the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C.

Through the Flight to Honor Polk program with the Polk County Veterans Council, veterans will be recognized for their services and sacrifice during the upcoming Flight to Honor Mission #6.

On Tuesday, April 27, 80 veterans, as well as their assigned trained Guardians who will accompany them on their one-day trip to Washington D.C., will get an opportunity to visit the memorials, such as the World War II Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial and Vietnam Veterans Memorial erected in honor of their services. The mission will depart early in the morning and return to Lakeland Linder International Airport in the evening.

Flight to Honor Polk became established in January 2015. When it comes to goals, Flight to Honor Polk abides by three objectives. One would be to make sure the veterans get to and from their destinations safely. Another objective is to give the community an opportunity to show their appreciation. Lastly, the third objective is to press upon the young people about the importance of doing for others.

All veterans who did not participate in a previous Honor Flight Mission or Flight to Honor Mission are considered eligible. Top priority will be given to terminally ill and World War II veterans, followed by veterans from the Korean, Vietnam and Gulf Wars and eras. Veterans will fly for free.

To become a Guardian, one must be between the ages of 18 and 75, along with not being the spouse or significant other to the veteran. Guardians will be required to pay their own expenses with a $500 donation.

Retired United States Air Force Col. Gary Clark, chairman of the Polk County Veterans Council, expressed his gratitude towards those who support this.

“This is an important event for the community and [we] appreciate all of the support,” Clark said.

Clark stated that anyone interested in welcoming back the veterans as they get off the plane from their trip can come to the Lakeland Linder International Airport in the tarmac area, where it is expected to land around 8 to 8:30 p.m.

For more information or to apply, visit, email or call 863-646-5966.

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Tatiana Ortiz is a freelance writer with the Osprey Observer Newspaper. She began as an intern here in 2010 and has been writing since. Tatiana graduated from the University of South Florida in 2015. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. In her free time, Tatiana enjoys photography, biking and being with her family.