Connect with us

Local News

51st mission of Eastern Iowa Honor Flight



Cedar Rapids, Iowa – More than 4,500 veterans have been taken to Washington, D.C. by the Eastern Iowa honor flight over the years. It is a free opportunity for veterans to see the memorials erected in their honor. When they arrived at the Eastern Iowa Airport on Tuesday, about ninety veterans crammed in.

The veterans left Tuesday morning, weather permitting, though their return time has been rescheduled to 10:20 p.m.

There are currently hundreds of people waiting, and many have been on the waiting list for years. On Tuesday, there will be 77 Vietnam War veterans on the post-Memorial Day flight.

One of the veterans flying on Tuesday, James Poorbaugh, expressed his anticipation for Vietnam soldiers to finally receive the warm welcome home they so richly deserve.

“That was terrible when those guys came back,” Poorbaugh said. “Well, hopefully they honor all of them.”

Veteran of the Air Force from Vietnam, Steven Johnson, has been attempting for years to board the Honor Flight but has been denied due to medical issues. He is excited to go off on Tuesday with the gang.

“All the memorials are great, that’s one of the highlights,” Johnson said.

Mission 51 pays tribute to Collins Aerospace, 72 of which served in Vietnam, for its unwavering support of the honor flight.

Since the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight is a charity, the majority of its funding comes from donations. You can make gifts by going to There is also information about how to register for the actual honor flight at that link. Veterans can attend for free, but their guardians must pay a charge.