APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Honor flights have a long history of taking veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit monuments in their honor. Now, plans are in the works to take local veterans to a new location.

Toward the end of January, Old Glory Honor Flight of northeast Wisconsin announced that they set a first-of-its-kind mission for the Fall of 2023. That time has come, and the new ‘Freedom to Liberty Tour: A Mission of Healing will take a group of 50 veterans who served during the Global War on Terrorism to New York City at the end of September.

The three-day tour is set for September 28th through October 1st in an effort to provide veterans with an extended period of time to heal and bond with other GWOT vets. This mission is free to the veterans and offers the chance to visit the 9/11 Memorial, the 9/11 Museum, the Freedom Tower, and the Statue of Liberty.

The nonprofit is dedicated to “honoring local veterans one mission at a time” and aim to … Diane MacDonald, Executive Director of the Old Glory Honor Flight, shares how they get to see firsthand the impact an honor flight can make in the life of a veteran.

“We hear from family members and from the veterans themselves that tell us that they feel like a cloud has been lifted, they sleep better at night, and they’re finally able to open up and talk about their service to their families… that’s huge,” said MacDonald. “So it’s not only an opportunity to help families heal, but it’s an opportunity for our community to learn more and help educate themselves on what our veterans go through.

Ken Corry, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, U.S. Air Force veteran and ambassador to this mission, is excited to see the healing it gives to all those going. He shares how proud he is to work with an organization like Old Glory Honor Flight and gives his message to all veterans.

“We struggled with asking for help, and I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to ask for help, said Corry. “It’s a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness, and it’s time to take care of yourselves because that’s the most important part… being able to take care of yourself.”

Since the organization was established in 2009, it has helped thousands of veterans heal and has taken 5,450 veterans on honor flights.

If you’re a veteran and want to apply for a trip,.0 or you’re someone who wants to help donate to support your local veterans, you can visit the Old Glory Honor Flight website here.