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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Buffalo Ridge Leathernecks donate funds to Midwest Honor Flight

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The $7,530 contribution is sufficient to sponsor 10 veterans for a one-day journey to Washington, D.C., to view the army memorials.

Kristi Brantsen, a volunteer director for Midwest Honor Flight, accepted the donation.

“I’m thrilled — that’s 10 veterans that get to go,” mentioned the Sioux Falls, South Dakota, lady who has joined veterans on 4 missions since turning into concerned with this system in September 2018.

Midwest Honor Flight was based in 2017 in Sioux Heart, Iowa, by Aaron Van Beek, a 3rd grade trainer in Sioux Heart and member of the Sons of the American Legion Squadron 199. Along with serving as volunteer president and director of Midwest Honor Flight, he’s the volunteer director for South Dakota Veterans Cemetery Wreaths Throughout America and Sioux Heart Wreaths Throughout America.

Van Beek’s curiosity within the army stems from three great-grandfathers who served in World Battle II, and a grandfather who served in Vietnam. When he noticed so many veterans who both didn’t have the time or the cash to journey to Washington, D.C., to view their memorials, he labored to ascertain Midwest Honor Flight by way of the Honor Flight Community.

Up to now, Midwest Honor Flight has flown eight missions, totaling 734 veterans from World Battle II, Korea and Vietnam. Hampered by COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 and early 2021, they accomplished two journeys this fall — one in September and one in October. Brantsen mentioned they’re hoping to finish 5 flights in 2022.

“We’re all the time fundraising,” she mentioned, noting that donations are available in from giant and small teams together with VFWs and American Legion posts, to youth organizations to do their very own fundraising campaigns for Midwest Honor Flight.

Along with all veterans from South Dakota, Midwest Honor Flight accepts functions from veterans in Cottonwood, Jackson, Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood and Rock counties in southwest Minnesota; in addition to Clay, Cherokee, Dickinson, Ida, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola, Plymouth, Sioux and Woodbury counties in northwest Iowa.

Brantsen and fellow board members are tasked with not solely fundraising, however encouraging veterans to use for a flight.

“These journeys are for them,” she mentioned, including that volunteers work to make the flights memorable and often remind the veterans how a lot they’re beloved and appreciated.

“Their sacrifices aren’t forgotten,” mentioned Brantsen.

Presently, there are almost 800 veterans on the ready record for a visit with Midwest Honor Flight. Brantsen mentioned World Battle II veterans get quick precedence for a flight, adopted by Korean and Vietnam veterans.

“When you’ve utilized for a flight, your software stays within the system,” she mentioned, noting the estimated wait time for a Korean Battle veteran is 12 to 18 months, whereas a Vietnam veteran can wait two to 3 years for a flight.

“We do a daily flight of 83 veterans — that’s one veteran to 1 guardian,” Brantsen shared. “If we do (a flight with) all Vietnam veterans, we are able to do three veterans to 1 guardian as we discover they’re extra able-bodied.”

Midwest Honor Flight does one-day journeys solely, flying out and in of the airport in Sioux Falls. Brantsen mentioned the schedule consists of assembling on the airport at 3 a.m. on flight day, with take-off at about 5 a.m. Flights return to Sioux Falls at about 8 p.m.

Any enterprise, group, household or particular person who wish to contribute to Midwest Honor Flight could achieve this on-line at midwesthonorflight.org/donate.html, or ship a examine to Midwest Honor Flight, P.O. Field 22; Sioux Heart, IA 51250.



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