Flight to Honor Polk veterans have a chance to tour the nation’s capital.

Preparations for Flight to Honor Polk Mission 9 to fly local military veterans to Washington, D.C., are underway, and the call is out for participants.

The series of missions, which began in 2015, have allowed veterans a chance to visit the greatest monuments in Washington, D.C., that honor the sacrifices of them and their comrades.

Applications for the Tuesday, April 30 mission are now being accepted from veterans and guardians to accompany them. There is no charge for participating veterans, with priority for the flights given to those dealing with severe medical conditions first, followed by veterans who served in the Second World, Korean and Vietnam wars.

Veterans are accompanied during the day by designated guardians who volunteer to serve on the missions. The guardians’ purpose is to assist their veterans with the travel and memorial sightseeing activities. If a guardian applicant is chosen to participate, a $500 donation to defray the cost of the mission will be requested. Guardians are assigned to a veteran in the order that applications are received.

The flights take off early in the morning from Lakeland Linder International Airport to arrive in the nation’s capital for a day of touring monuments like the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Flight to Honor Polk missions are among many activities of the Polk County Veterans Council, which has been supporting veterans since 2003. Among the events featured on their websites are opportunities to meet with VA representatives and support various veteran-related causes as well as events and ceremonies like retirement of U.S. flags.

Their support of this year’s Lakeland Veterans Day Ceremony and related events brought praise from Johanah Moran, who expressed her appreciation on the organization’s Facebook page. “So glad you Honor Veterans with a parade,” she wrote.

You can keep informed about Flight to Honor Polk Mission 9 and other veteran-related activities by visiting the Polk County Veterans Council website at www.polkveteranscouncil.com and its Facebook page, where you can also find links to downloadable applications for veterans and guardians.

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Brad Stager
Avian-named publications have figured prominently in Brad Stager's career. Besides writing for the Osprey Observer, he started out writing sports articles for the Seahawk, a weekly newspaper serving the military community aboard Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan. That position followed a career documenting life in the Fleet, from the Straits of Magellan to the North Arabian Sea, as a Navy Photographer's Mate. Since settling in the Tampa Bay area, Brad has produced a variety of written, visual and aural content for clients ranging from corporate broadcasters to small businesses.