The 51st Honor Flight of the Quad Cities did not take off as scheduled on Thursday morning, postponed until later this year due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
Steve Garrington, Honor Flight of the Quad Cities Hub Director, tells KWQC, “About 100 veterans and 60 guardians were going to meet at the Quad City Airport, go through security, have some breakfast, get on an airplane and fly to Washington D.C. for a day to see monuments built to honor them."
Garrington says the flight was canceled to protect the veterans. “Health was the very first consideration especially since almost all of the veterans are going to be 70 or older. That’s the really vulnerable population.”
The flight would’ve had 165 people on board, which would not have gone against social distancing regulations.
Now, Garrington fears some veterans may never get the chance to go. “The greatest fear we have now is that we may lose a veteran who was scheduled for that flight before they have a chance to go. Many of the men are senior. Some of them are ill. About five of them that were going to be on that flight were going to require oxygen during the flight.”
Garrington says the veterans who were supposed to be on Thursday’s flight will be first in line for the next one. “We are really hoping that they’ll be fine and will be on the next flight to Washington D.C."
Honor Flight of the Quad Cities said there are about 700 veterans on its wait list to go on the trip. The next honor flights are scheduled for September 17th and October 29th.