MOSINEE — As many as 1,000 people gathered late Monday in Mosinee to welcome home veterans from World War II, Korea and Vietnam after a whirlwind trip to Washington D.C..

The Never Forgotten Honor Flight flies veterans to see the memorials that stand in their honor. In addition to 89 veterans, about 60 guardians also flew to Washington, said Never Forgotten Honor Flight Board Member Kirk Howard.

Flights are free for veterans, while guardians pay $500 to defray the cost of the service. Five World War II, 34 Korean War and 50 Vietnam War era veterans from central and northern Wisconsin attended.

Monday’s trip from Central Wisconsin Airport marks the Wausau-based organization’s 31st flight since the first Never Forgotten Honor Flight took place April 27, 2010. This trip was made possible through raffle sales at last year’s Hodag Country Music Festival in Rhinelander, where organizers raised around $70,000 to fund the flight.

A veteran wipes away tears after being welcomed home by hundreds of people following the Never Forgotten Honor Flight on April 23, 2018. Photo credit: Wayne Gauger for Wausau Pilot and Review

Any veterans from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War eras are encouraged to submit an application as soon as possible. The only criteria for veterans to qualify for an Honor Flight is to have served during the years listed on the application website, regardless of where they served. Interested veterans and guardians should visit for more information and fill out an application.

Photos and reporting by Wayne Gauger