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Corvallis has many veterans of the Vietnam War, the Korean War, and quite a few of the Second World War, including a surprising number of Pearl Harbor veterans – a group who are among the most honored but also the most deeply-traumatized of all members of the Greatest Generation. So when Honor Flight, the charitable organization which transports veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit memorials to those who served and which has a local chapter with a busy schedule out of Corvallis, had to lockdown due to COVID-19, many of these people lost their chance to take that trip.
It was a painful decision to suspend Honor Flight visits to Washington, knowing that some were sure to die before the pandemic ended. Those same veterans were also among the most vulnerable people, though, so there was really no choice but to ground the planes until the emergency was over.
Now the local chapter, South WillametteValley Honor Flight, is taking off again. Their next scheduled flight leaves on September 30 and returns on October 4.
A note of caution, if you or a family member are planning to take advantage of an Honor Flight trip: there is a for-profit enterprise, “honorflights.com,” which took advantage of Honor Flight’s failure to secure all related domain names and now charges people money for plane tickets to Washington. The genuine Honor Flight Network flies all veterans for free.