Honor Flight’s “welcome home” celebration returns in May

Published: May. 10, 2023 at 10:35 AM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - The COVID-19 pandemic forced people to adjust various aspects of their lives for a few years, including celebrating Honor Flight veterans in person.

This year, officials with the Honor Flight say the in-person “welcome home” celebration will resume in late May with the second Honor Flight of the 2023 season.

Cathy Berkshire of Honor Flight Northeast Indiana says the last welcome home for veterans was in October of 2019 and canceled all flights in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

She also says they could only take vaccinated veterans in 2022, and the first Honor Flight of 2023 saw heavy construction at the Fort Wayne International Airport.

Berkshire thinks of the flights as a “healing experience” for some of the veterans that attend the trip to Washington and says she does not think the veterans fully realize the extent of the appreciation the country has for their service.

The next Honor Flight is scheduled for May 24, and a flight for Purple Heart recipients will be held sometime this year.

Berkshire says parking may be a challenge at the airport, and urges anyone who would like to attend the welcome home celebration on May 24 to carpool, arrive early, and park in the long-term parking lot.