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Freedom Honor Flights for La Crosse vets start again in September



La Crosse’s Freedom Honor Flight project is getting ready to mark a milestone…over a year later than planned. 

The flights to Washington for area veterans are resuming this fall, with two flights scheduled for September 11th and October 9th. 

The September flight will be the 25th from La Crosse since the local program began in 2008.  It was supposed to happen in May of last year, but the pandemic caused those flights to be suspended until now. 

About 90 to 100 veterans are expected to travel on each flight, to see national war memorials in Washington, and then return home the same day.  Nearly 2200 area vets have been on the first 24 flights based in La Crosse, and 800 more are now on the waiting list.

La Crosse Honor Flight president Ryan Clark says some COVID-19 rules will still be in place, for now.

“The CDC recommends and the FAA requires masks at various points,” Clark tells reporters. “Participants will be required to wear masks at the airport, on the buses, and possibly at some of the memorials.” He says Arlington National Cemetery still requires visitors to have masks.

Volunteers say the date of September 11th was not specifically chosen because of the 20th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. Rather, it was the first available Saturday offered to organizers for a flight.


A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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