JUNEAU – Stars and Stripes Honor Flight kicks off its flying season for 2013 on April 27.

This flight, on one chartered Delta 757 aircraft, will take 110 WWII veterans from southeastern Wisconsin on a one-day, free trip to Washington, D.C., to see their memorials. This is the 17th Honor Flight out of Milwaukee and will be the last flight exclusively for World War II veterans.

The next Honor Flight on June 8 will feature about 25 percent Korean War veterans in addition to WWII veterans.

“We’re excited to transition our mission from WWII veterans to Korean War veterans this year,” said Mark Grams, board member of Stars and Stripes Honor Flight and Dodge County veterans service officer. “We will continue to give priority to our WWII veterans, but this really is a success story. Thanks to all the fabulous support we have received from the community and our loyal sponsors, we are able to raise the funds to keep flying veterans beyond our original mission of WWII veterans.”

In another transition, chairman and founder of Stars and Stripes Honor Flight Joe Dean has announced that he will step down from an active role with the organization after Memorial Day. Saturday’s flight will mark his last one as chairman, but Dean will continue to serve at the pleasure of the board at special events.

Under Dean’s leadership, Stars and Stripes Honor Flight launched other Honor Flight hubs statewide that have flown another 2,500 veterans. He also spearheaded a documentary film project that set a world record for the largest film screening ever when it premiered at Miller Park on Aug. 11.

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