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Badger Honor Flights canceled for rest of year due to COVID-19
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Badger Honor Flights canceled for rest of year due to COVID-19

Badger Honor Flight homecoming

Neal Halberg, of Exeland, a Vietnam veteran who was on a Madison-based Badger Honor Flight trip Nov. 2, is welcomed home at the Dane County Regional Airport.

All remaining Badger Honor Flights — free trips to American veterans to see veterans memorials — have been canceled for the rest of the year due to the coronavirus, the chairwoman of the organization announced Thursday.

“This is the time of year when our fall flight planning really takes off and we have weighed the risks — known or unknown — of flying our nation’s heroes to Washington, D.C., in the midst of a pandemic,” Nicole Jennings said in a statement. “We feel it is in everyone’s best interest to wait until we can safely fly and give our veterans the patriotic and celebratory Honor Flight experience we have all grown to love and cherish.”

The national Honor Flight Network had already postponed all flights through Aug. 31, with the possibility of further extending that date.

The first Badger Honor Flight took place in April 2010 and in the effort’s first nine years 3,000 veterans took 35 flights to the nation’s capital, according to the group’s website. Veterans who were scheduled to fly in 2020 will remain at the top of the group’s waiting list and will be informed when flights begin again, Jennings said. The group continues to accept applications for future flights.

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