Last Frontier Honor Flights resume in October

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 10:20 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - It’s been nearly two years since the last trip by Last Frontier Honor Flight came to Alaska. It has not been easy since then for those who get veterans to visit the various war memorials in Washington, D.C.

“Most everyone has been dead in the water, we haven’t done anything,” said Randy Kimpton, president of the Last Frontier Honor Flight program.

He and others only have to wait a little longer to take more veterans to the nation’s Capitol. Kimpton says the first honor flight since the pandemic will take off on Oct. 5. But the news is bittersweet.

“We’ve lost four vets that we could have taken that we’re not going to be able to take now because they’ve either passed away or became too ill,” Kimpton said.

The Last Frontier Honor Flight takes nearly two dozen veterans to to see the various war memorials during a free five-day visit. Typically there are two trips made annually, but only one will take place this year.

“Our first few flights were all World War II,” Kimpton said. “This flight here, I have the possibility of just one.”

Honor flights are available for veterans of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Kimpton said an extra emphasis is now placed on those who served in World War II.

“We’re losing our World War II vets at an alarming rate,” Kimpton said.

Kimpton estimated it costs an average $3,000 to get each veteran to Washington, D.C. The Last Frontier Honor Flight is looking for donations and guardians to escort the veterans during the upcoming trip. Plus, the organization is seeking anyone who served in the Alaska Territorial Guard.

More than 6,300 Alaska Natives from 107 communities volunteered to serve in the territorial guard during World War II.

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