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Veterans from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam will travel to Washington DC May 18 to visit veteran memorials as part of the Badger Honor Flight.

Badger Honor Flight is a regional affiliate in Wisconsin of the National Honor Flight. Badger Honor Flight provides transportation, shirts, jackets, hats, and meals to veterans on the flight. The flight is free for veterans.

About 90 veterans are scheduled for the day-long trip, which includes stops at the World War II Veteran’s Memorial, the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Air Force Memorial, the Marine Memorial, and the changing of the guard at Arlington National Cemetery.

“Our mission is to get these WWII, Korean, and Vietnam veterans to have the chance to view the memorials built in their honor,” said Tiffany Tobias, volunteer fundraising director for Badger Honor Flights.

Nationally more than 150,000 veterans have participated in honor flights, and in Wisconsin more than 3,000 veterans have participated in the Badger Honor Flight. The Sauk Prairie area, which has 17 veterans scheduled for the May 18 honor flight, has sent 236 veterans on the Washington DC trip.

Accompanying the veterans on the flight are “guardians,” usually a friend or family member. The May 18 Badger Honor Flight is the second honor flight of the year, while the first flight of 2019 occurred on April 20. Three additional flights will run in 2019 on Sept. 7, Oct. 5, and Nov. 2.

The flights are made possible through fundraising efforts throughout the year, including the May 11 Hangar Dance and fundraiser for Heroes for Honor and Badger Honor Flight at Sauk Prairie Airport in Prairie du Sac. The 17 Sauk-area veterans on the May 18 flight are members of Sauk Heroes for Honor.

A welcome home ceremony is set for the return to Madison at about 8:30 p.m. May 18 at the Dane County Regional Airport. The public is invited to the ceremony, which usually attracts crowds of thousands. Visitors are recommended to arrive about an hour early to find a spot due to the crowds.

To recommend a veteran for a Badger Honor Flight or to apply, submit an application to the Badger Honor Flight at PO Box 258066, Madison, WI 53725. Priority is given to veterans in order of conflict, with World War II veterans receiving first priority status. Exceptions are made for terminally ill veterans. Applications and more information is available online at badgerhonorflight.org.

Reach Christopher Jardine on Twitter @ChrisJJardine or contact him at 608-432-6591.

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