One of the most emotional and poignant moments of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh each year will return in 2023 as 100 Vietnam War vets will take a Yellow Ribbon Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., on July 28 as part of AirVenture’s annual salute to veterans. The 70th annual EAA fly-in convention is July 24-30 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.
Veterans from the Vietnam War will be honored as they travel to the nation’s capital to tour war memorials at no cost to them. The veterans will return to Oshkosh at the conclusion of the Friday afternoon air show and thousands of people will welcome them back home and give them the recognition they deserve.
“The Yellow Ribbon Honor Flight is traditionally one of the best events of AirVenture week and this year is fitting as part of our ‘Vietnam Remembered: 50 Years Later’ schedule of activities,” said Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of communities and member programming. “We are proud to produce an event that honors what Vietnam veterans did for this country and be able to provide them an experience of a lifetime.”
This is the ninth year that the Yellow Ribbon Honor Flight has originated at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh under the auspices of Old Glory Honor Flight of Appleton, Wisconsin. That non-profit organization has organized dozens of Honor Flights since 2009 with a dedicated group of volunteers. Those flights have included special flights to Pearl Harbor and to Vietnam.
“Each Honor Flight mission is a special occasion, but the ability to be a part of EAA AirVenture always creates unforgettable moments,” said Diane MacDonald, the executive director of Old Glory Honor Flight. “Honoring our local Vietnam veterans out of EAA AirVenture is such a highlight; being witness to the enthusiasm, respect, and appreciation from the world’s aviation enthusiasts when the flight returns to Oshkosh is such an incredible sight to see and it means the world to the men and women who get to experience it.”
American Airlines is again supplying an aircraft for the flight, which is flown by an all-volunteer crew of American Airlines pilots and cabin attendants.
Old Glory Honor Flight will be inviting veterans who are currently on their waitlist. More information about Old Glory Honor Flight, which accepts donations, is available on the organization’s website.