Honor Flight is planning 3 more trips to Washington, D.C., and it’s looking for veterans

Honor Flight of the Central Coast is inviting area veterans of World War II and the Korean War to apply for three-day “Tour of Honor” trips to Washington, D.C.

Honor Flight announced in a news release that the all-expenses-paid trips are scheduled for May 6-8 and June 10-12, with a third trip to be announced this fall.

Bear McGill, president of organization, said in the release that the three-day trips offer senior veterans a guided tour of military memorials and monuments and other points of interest in the District of Columbia area. Vietnam veterans are also invited to apply, he said.

More than 270 local veterans have made the trip with Honor Flight of the Central Coast since the local chapter formed in 2014, the organization says.

Thirteen World War II veterans gather outside the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport terminal in April 2013 after returning from their Honor Flight trip to Washington, D.C. Laura Dickinson ldickinson@thetribunenews.com

“I’ve been on nine of these trips, and every time I am moved to tears watching once-young soldiers remembering their pasts,” McGill said in a news release. “They are fiercely patriotic, and even with physical limitations, still insist on standing when the National Anthem is played.”

McGill said Honor Flight of the Central Coast is working to identify any local WWII and Korean War veterans who may be interested and encourages friends and family members of veterans in or outside San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties to contact Honor Flight to learn more.

“We are fighting the clock on our aging vets,” he said.

Accommodations will be made for veterans needing wheelchairs, walkers, oxygen and other support. A medical professional also travels with the group, and every veteran is accompanied by a guardian, usually a family member, who pays his or her own way.

Honor Flight of the Central Coast is led by a group of volunteers who must raise $100,000 each year to make the trips free to veteran attendees.

To inquire about future trips, please contact info@honorflightccc.org. Additional information is also available online at www.honorflightccc.org.

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Matt Fountain is The San Luis Obispo Tribune’s courts and investigations reporter. A San Diego native, Fountain graduated from Cal Poly’s journalism department in 2009 and cut his teeth at the San Luis Obispo New Times before joining The Tribune as a crime and breaking news reporter in 2014.