Welcome Home Celebration
Tuesday, June 7 5pm – 9pm
All events are outdoors, restrooms available.
Lawn chairs are recommended.
Food trucks available starting at 5pm.
Flight arrival 8:10pm
Shuttles run constantly to & from Veterans Airport
Parking is NOT available at Veterans Airport
Where will be you be at 5pm on Tuesday, June 7th? Hopefully at the Veterans Airport in Marion to welcome home our Veterans from their day in Washington DC.
Event organizers have been working most of the year on the Welcome Home event and want to invite everyone to come out and enjoy the festivities.
“The community support for the previous Honor Flight Welcome Home events has been overwhelming!” stated Deborah Hogg, Welcome Home organizer. “There is no better way to celebrate our Veterans and honor them than by giving them a Hero’s welcome home.”
The 10-member Welcome Home Committee meets monthly to plan the event which is expected to unite the community in honoring our Veterans.
Since having the Welcome Home Celebration was such a success last year, we are excited to announce it will be held outside at the front airport entrance for Flight #8. Those attending are welcome to bring lawn chairs.
“The community starts arriving at the Airport about 5pm with banners and lawn chairs. It’s really a festival atmosphere all afternoon and evening” stated Hogg.
Several food trucks are scheduled to participate in the Welcome Home event including The Burger Shack, Dave’s BBQ Smokehouse, Deep South, Red Onion, Shorty Nugent, Easy Street, Sweet Shish Kebab, Chef Adams Food is Life, and Moore than Coffee who have all made a donation to Honor Flight.
Food service will begin at 5pm and last until all the Veterans have passed through the Freedom Path through the Airport terminal.
“And while the public is enjoying their dinner, they can also enjoy the local entertainment” stated Jared Garrison of the Welcome Home Planning Committee. “The entertainment line-up for the evening includes Daniel Brothers Band and the JOY Singers from Marion First Baptist Church.”
The Welcome Home Ceremony will begin at 8pm with Emcee George Davis and Matt Throgmorton from Byassee Music and Sound will be singing the National Anthem.
Due to limited parking on Airport grounds, the planning committee encourages the general public to utilize the free transportation busses from off-site parking locations.
“Rides Mass Transit is happy to provide transportation service from three lots including Sam’s Club and Cornerstone Church as well as Community of Faith Church with busses continuously running between locations to insure everyone has easy access to the event” stated Jeffery Drake with Rides Mass Transit. Buses will run approximately every 20 minutes beginning at 5pm.
The Welcome Home committee encourages the general public to bring Welcome Home banners and flags to the ceremony and wear patriotic attire.
If anyone has any questions or needs assistance when they arrive at the Airport, they can ask any one of the more than 350 volunteers stationed at various points throughout the Airport grounds and Terminal lobby. All volunteers will be wearing bright orange lanyards.
“We hope everyone will come out to the Airport and help us welcome home our Veterans. We want the Veterans to witness a sea of red, white and blue when they depart the plane.” stated Glenn.
Veterans Honor Flight of Southern Illinois is an established 501c3 non-profit hub of the Honor Flight network. All expenses for this one-day trip are covered by Veterans Honor Flight of Southern Illinois including the flight, ground transportation, meals, and beverages. The trip is provided absolutely free of charge to the veterans.
Veterans Honor Flight of Southern Illinois is implemented solely by volunteers with 96.5 cents of every dollar donated going straight to the Veterans.
For additional information or to apply to become a Guardian, Volunteer or Honor Flight Veteran, visit our website www.veteranshonorflight.org.