SPRINGFIELD — Gibson City resident Russell Plath, a U.S. Air Force veteran of the Korean Conflict era, and Paxton resident Chester Culbertson, an Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War era, will be among 92 military veterans taking a flight to the nation’s capitol on Tuesday, Sept. 24, as part of the fifth Land of Lincoln Honor Flight of 2019.
The veterans and their guardians will depart around 4:15 a.m. from Springfield’s Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport and fly to Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., where they will board luxury motor coaches before making stops at the World War II, Korean and Vietnam War memorials, as well as Arlington National Cemetery for the “changing of the guard” ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
Other stops include the Lincoln Memorial, the National Air & Space Museum in Chantilly, Va., the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial, the U.S. Navy Plaza and the U.S. Air Force Memorial.
The veterans include 12 from the Air Force, 51 from the Army, eight from the Marines and 21 from the Navy. One served in the World War II era, 11 in the Korean Conflict era and 80 in the Vietnam War era. They come from 62 central and southern Illinois communities.
The trip is provided at no cost to the veterans.
Their return to the Springfield airport is planned for 9:30 p.m., and the general public, along with friends and family, are encouraged to be there to welcome them back.
Applications continue to be accepted for upcoming Honor Flights. Veteran or guardian applications may be obtained at www.landoflincolnhonorflight.org by clicking on the “applications” tab.
Since its inception in 2009, Land of Lincoln Honor Flight has served 4,454 Illinois veterans on 57 flights.