Veterans encouraged to apply for Honor Flight

| July 22, 2016

COSHOCTON – Dave Dilly has gone on nine Honor Flights and considers himself lucky to have had those experiences.

Honor Flight Columbus flies World War II and Korean War veterans for free to Washington, D.C. for the day to visit memorials dedicated to their service and others as time allows. In June six Korean War Veterans from Coshocton County took the trip and they were invited to share their experiences at a special Honor Flight Luncheon held July 21 at the Senior Center.

The Coshocton County Veterans Service Commission, with the help of Dilly who is a guardian on the trips, occasionally organizes luncheons to help spread the word about Honor Flight.

“On our last trip, not one single veteran complained,” Dilly said. “They all kept a grin on their face and we had a great time and perfect weather.”

During the luncheon Dilly shared a slide show of pictures from the trip and explained how the process works. Veterans have to apply for their opportunity to take the trip, but once they are accepted and notified of their flight date, Dilly gathers the local residents together for a meeting at Hardee’s to answer questions and ease nerves. The day before the trip they meet at Wal-Mart and travel to Columbus together where they stay overnight in a hotel by the Port Columbus International Airport. The next day they fly together with others taking the trip to Baltimore, Md. and then travel by bus to Washington, D.C.

Those on the honor flight are greeted with a hero’s welcome just about everywhere they go and the busses they ride on are escorted throughout the entire day. When they return to Columbus, each and every veteran on the trip is personally welcomed home and has their named announced.

“You start to realize that someone really does care,” Dilly said. “I think when we came back this last time there was in the neighborhood of 700 people waiting for us.”

Honor Flight’s original goal was to take World War II and Korean War veterans to see their monument, but starting this spring it also will be open to Vietnam Veterans.

“We are very fortunate in Columbus,” said Linda Conrad, from Honor Flight Columbus, who attended the luncheon in Coshocton. “People have been very generous and we are able to continue on with Vietnam. A lot of hubs stopped after they got their World War II Veterans to D.C. That was our original purpose because it took so long to get a monument built for them. We continued on with Korean then and now we are able to help Vietnam Veterans too. We decided it’s our place to get all veterans to see their monuments in D.C.”

Dilly said an average trip costs $56,000. Honor Flight covers the cost for veterans but guardians, who are there to assist veterans, pay $300 to be part of the trip.

Many organizations have made donations to help veterans cover their travel expenses to Columbus and assist guardians with their fees. During the luncheon Carrie Byers, assistant manager at Baker’s IGA, presented Dilly with a donation to help with expenses for those who want to be involved with Honor Flight.

Baker’s put out collection jars for the program and received $450 in donations from the community and the company contributed another $250.

“Our founder Lewis Baker was a POW (prisoner of war) and was always at our store’s veterans’ days sharing with others what veterans went through,” Byers said. “This is just a small token to show you how much we appreciate what you’ve done and that you are not forgotten.”

Conrad had applications for the Honor Flight with her at the luncheon and anyone who wasn’t there is encouraged to contact the Coshocton County Veterans Service Office at 740-622-2313, to find our more on how to apply for the trip.

“There are so many veterans who still need to go on the Honor Flight,” Conrad said. “Please tell veterans about the honor flight and make sure they get their applications in.”

For more information on Honor Flight Columbus, visit

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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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