In the summer of 2008, some La Crosse area residents announced plans to take World War II veterans on a quick one-day round trip to Washington. The main purpose of the trip would be to have those vets visit the new memorial to the war, which had ended more than 60 years before. Local attorney Chuck Hanson said WWII veterans in America were dying at the rate of 1700 a day. La Crosse’s first Honor Flight would take place Wednesday, October 8th, with a welcome-home ceremony planned at the airport late that night. Since then, many more honor flights have originated from La Crosse, usually twice a year, on Saturdays in the spring and fall.
The movie “Fort McCoy” was being filmed in western Wisconsin that summer. Director Michael Worth was hoping to get permission from the military to actually film at the fort near Sparta, where much of the WWII drama was set. “Fort McCoy” got to theaters six years later, but it was made in 2008, yesterday in La Crosse.