REDMOND — The Honor Flight of Central Oregon, which was set to take 21 veterans to visit Washington, D.C., war memorials, has been postponed until the fall due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus or COVID-19.
The virus has forced cancellations of many major, national events especially where it may affect the elderly who are most at risk of catching the virus.
Dane Prevatt, Honor Flight of Central Oregon organizer, told the Redmond Spokesman that the trip originally planned for May 6, will now take place Oct. 7.
“It was upon the advice of our medical director, Dr. Jana Van Amburg, who accompanies the vets on the trip, that we postpone the flights since our vets are most vulnerable to catching the virus,’ Prevatt said.
“We were fortunate enough to not have to pay any deposits until April and the vendors were kind enough to not charge for anything until the trip in the fall,” he said.
He noted that many of the Honor Flights have been delayed due to the spread of the virus.
“We just wanted to make sure that our veterans were safe and it’s better to wait and see if the virus subsides this summer before flying them back to D.C.,” Prevatt said.
Cost of the flight and connected travel expenses totals $70,000. The nonprofit is within $2,000 of its goal thanks to an anonymous donor, Prevatt said.
Honor Flight of Central Oregon takes a group of veterans and their guardians to D.C. every year to see the memorials and monuments.
This year, World War II and Korean War veterans will be part of the flight. Next year, Vietnam-era vets will be permitted to sign up for the trips, which are paid by the nonprofit group.
The group decided to postpone the trip on Sunday, as the number of virus cases increased in Washington state. The vets were to take an inaugural flight out of Redmond, but change planes in Portland to fly back east.
To sign up for future flights, volunteer as a guardian, or for more information, visit www.honorflightofcentraloregon.org