A Central Iowa Honor Flight will leave Des Moines on Tuesday, Sept. 12 to take nearly 250 military veterans to Washington, D.C. While there, they will have the opportunity to visit the World War II Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Air Force Memorial, as well as witness the changing of the guard at Arlington National Cemetery. The flight was made possible by donations of the Polk County Board of Supervisors from gaming revenue provided by Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack & Hotel, and Des Moines-area Hy-Vee stores.


“We know that the flight and the time the veterans spend at the monuments in Washington, D.C., will be very special, and this event is our chance to show them how truly thankful we are for their service,” said Polk County Supervisor John F. Mauro.


The veterans will attend a send-off dinner sponsored by Prairie Meadows on Monday, Sept. 11 in Veterans Memorial Auditorium at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center where they will arrive in a processional of 15 charter buses led by police cars. Members of the community are welcome and encouraged to line the route with flags and signs and to stop along the route to show their support for our veterans.


Hy-Vee has a long history of honoring and supporting our nation’s military veterans,” said Darren Baty, executive vice president of Hy-Vee’s northern region. “Des Moines-area Hy-Vee stores and employees are proud to support this year’s honor flight.”


The Honor Flight Committee raised $380,000 with support from the Polk County Board of Supervisors, Des Moines-area Hy-Vee stores, and donors from Western Iowa. These donations will cover the cost of the flight, meals, shirts and hats. Eighty-five guardians will be on the flight to assist individuals who use wheelchairs and canes.


“Once again the Polk County Supervisors and Hy-Vee have generously funded an Honor Flight to allow our Iowa Veterans to see their memorials in Washington D.C. We also want to recognize Prairie Meadows for sponsoring the Pre-Flight dinner to feed our Veterans”. According to Central Iowa Honor Flight Chairman Jeff Ballenger this will be the 13th Honor Flight.


Applications for the trip can be found at www.centraliowahonorflight.org. Eight-five percent of the available seats will be designated for Polk County veterans, with the remaining available for Western Iowa veterans. Applications are accepted on a first-come first-serve basis.