Eastern Iowa veterans embark on a trip of a lifetime - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Eastern Iowa veterans embark on a trip of a lifetime

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

A flight carrying 84 World War II and Korean veterans left early Tuesday morning from Cedar Rapids heading to the nation's capitol.

It was the first Eastern Iowa Honor Flight of 2013. The first Waterloo Honor Flight of the year happened last week.

This flight is sponsored by World War II Navy veteran Mike Wilson and his wife Esther.

The veterans will have a full day of touring the memorials built in their honor, including the World War II, Vietnam, and Korean memorials.

Organizers say the flight is for anyone who has served.

"When the country called and you put that uniform on, that's the qualifier for the flight," said George Rickey, Coordinator. "We don't care if you never got out of basic training. We don't care if you peeled potatoes for 6 months -- you answered the call. You served. You were willing to lay down you life for this country. That's your qualifier for the trip."

The veterans are expected to return at 10:45 p.m. Tuesday. Anyone who wants to welcome the veterans home is invited to be at the airport.

There's another Honor Flight out of Cedar Rapids in May and a third planned for September.

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