Honor Flight operations moving

By Kelsey Gibbs | kgibbs@wcia.com

Published 04/24 2014 05:41PM

Updated 04/25 2014 11:39AM

Update: 10:13 pm
SPRINGFIELD -- An Illinois Honor Flight organization won't be able to help Illinois' veterans visit memorial sites in D.C. anymore. WCIA-3's Kelsey Gibbs finds out what group is stepping up to make sure those wishes are granted.

Honor Flights give veterans around the state, as well as the country, chances to see Washington.

"That's great. Some of these veterans never might get a chance to."

Even though the Central Illinois Honor Flight, in Effingham, is closing its doors, the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight, in Springfield, will be there to fly veterans to Washington.

"Hope to fly with Central Illinois. We're going to offer them a flight to all those who want to go with us."

But, Paul Kramer, with the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight, says taking over was the noble thing to do.

"We feel it's a mission to get all these gentlemen who served our country so well."

Gentlemen like Korean War veteran John Andrew. He's recovering from cancer but hopes one day to take part in an honor flight.

"A lot of things associated with the Korean Conflict, a lot of history there."

Like Kramer, Andrew understands the importance of the flights for war vets.

"In to go out and see the veterans thing in Washington, D.C., that's great. I've been there. It's something to see. Something you'll never forget."

Kramer says taking over will take some time, but Land of Lincoln is up for the challenge.

"We will be able to accommodate, hopefully with most of them on the next two flights."

The Central Illinois Honor Flight helped veterans from Champaign to Cairo. Those vets will fly out of Springfield sometime this fall.
Original: 5:41 pm
SPRINGFIELD -- The Central Illinois Honor Flight will no longer fly high to help Illinois' veterans visit historic sites. The Effingham-based organization will be closing and handing its operations over to the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight, based in Springfield.

Paul Kramer says he's happy to do it for the veterans. Kramer says flights are already scheduled for veterans in Springfield. Veterans who were scheduled to fly with Central Illinois Honor Flight will have to wait until the fall.

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