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Honor Flights need financial boost

February 9, 2011

Iowa veteran Connie Mack, left, and Jeff Ballenger, veteran and representative of West Texas Honor Flights stand before one of the World War II Memorials in Washington, D.C. For an application or more information about the honor flights, visit www.westtexashonorflight.org (Courtesy photo)

One day isn't nearly enough, but it's a start.

A little more than 300 veterans will be given the opportunity to gather together and take a free flight to Washington, to visit the World War II Memorial.

“We are losing around 1,100 WWII veterans a day,” Jeff Ballenger said. “We are aiming to raise $250,000. These flights are one way that we can pay tribute to them.”

The flights are tentatively scheduled for the second weekend of April. Two 737s will depart from the Abilene airport early in the morning and return that same night. Veterans taking part in the trip will arrive the night before the scheduled departure, enjoy a pre-flight dinner and a USO show.

“We are working hard to ensure that they see their monument,” Ballenger said.

The local honor flights are put together by the Honor Flight Network, a non-profit organization. The main focus of the group is to honor American’s veterans and pay tribute to all their sacrifices.

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