Over 2 dozen Southern Utah veterans to depart for D.C. in next Utah Honor Flight; return ceremony planned

In this file photo, veteran Leona Marck speaks at a Utah Honor Flight welcome home party, St. George, Utah, Sept. 30, 2017 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Twenty-five military veterans who served in various conflicts, including World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, are departing Thursday from St. George en route to Washington, D.C., for the next three-day Utah Honor Flight trip. They will join 25 other veterans from the Wasatch Front on their tour of the nation’s capital.

In this 2017 file photo, St. George Mayor Jon Pike snaps photos at a Utah Honor Flight welcome home party, St. George, Utah, Sept. 30, 2017 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

On Saturday, the St. George group returns to Utah for a welcome-home ceremony at approximately 9:30 p.m. at the Dixie Center St. George on 1835 Convention Center Drive. Everyone is invited to this free event to show gratitude and support. Many of the local veteran service organizations are expected to attend. (see Ed. Note)

The veterans on the trip comprise a wide range of military service, including Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Most of the veteran participants served during the Vietnam era. They will be escorted by guardians, who are typically sons or daughters, grandchildren or volunteers of the program.

“An experience like this can further the bond felt between family members,” said Utah Honor Flight chairman Mike Turner in a media release. “We must honor our Utah veterans – now – before it is too late.”

The Utah Honor Flight trip includes a lengthy stop at the National Mall, where the veterans will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the National World War II Memorial, followed by stops at the Korean War Veterans Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

In this 2017 file photo, Southern Utah veterans are welcomed home from a Utah Honor Flight to the nation’s capital, St. George, Utah, Sept. 30, 2017 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

There will also be excursions to visit other sites of interest, including the U.S. Navy Memorial, the Air Force Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery and Fort McHenry.

The National Archives will be one of the focal points, as the veterans will tour the “Remembering Vietnam” exhibit.

According to the National Archives, the exhibition “presents both iconic and recently discovered National Archives records related to 12 critical episodes in the Vietnam War. They trace the policies and decisions made by the architects of the conflict and help untangle why the United States became involved in Vietnam, why it went on so long, and why it was so divisive for American society.”

“Our program has grown so much since we took our initial trip in 2013,” Turner said. “At the time we had so many World War II veterans we wanted to honor — and the clock was ticking. Over time, we have taken more than 1,500 of our older veterans which gives us the opportunity to honor our Vietnam veterans.”

The expenses for the veterans are funded solely through donations from individuals and companies. Those interested in contributing to Utah Honor Flight can call 435-272-0254 or send donations to

Utah Honor Flight

P.O. Box 42

Richfield, UT 84701

About Utah Honor Flight

Utah Honor Flight, which began in 2013, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that takes veterans to Washington, D.C., to see their memorials at no cost to the veterans. The expenses for the veterans are funded solely through donations from individuals and companies. Veterans, guardians and interested volunteers may apply at the Utah Honor Flight website or on their Facebook page.

Event details

  • What: Utah Honor Flight welcome-home ceremony.
  • When: Saturday, Sept. 15, 9:30 p.m.
  • Where: Dixie Center St. George, 1835 Convention Center Drive.

Ed. note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed the day of the welcome-home ceremony as Friday.

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Twitter: @STGnews

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  • NickDanger September 13, 2018 at 11:51 am

    I’m all for helping veterans, and I am a veteran myself. I can’t help but wonder, though, if this isn’t more of a bother to these guys than anything else. I mean, I don’t know many men in their 90’s, but the ones I do know do NOT enjoy traveling.

    I guess it’s more a matter of, well, these guys, by this point in life, undoubtedly have everything they want. So what can you really do for them? This is a pretty creative option, but I’m thinking about my recently-deceased grandfather right now, and he would probably go on this trip if it was offered to him out of a sense of obligation – bad form to reject a well-intended gift. And then he would have been miserable for however long the trip lasted.

    • Happy Commenter November 11, 2018 at 10:23 am

      Nick, I am a vet also and I can tell you that no one is making them go. Thanks for your service!

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