Last Frontier Honor Flight celebrates 10 years of travel to nation’s capital

Outside the Gates
Last Frontier Honor Flight celebrates 10 years of travel to nation's capital
Published: Nov. 2, 2023 at 5:00 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - It’s a program that takes Alaskan veterans of war to the nation’s capital to see the memorials built to honor their service, and the most recent trip through the Last Frontier Honor Flight celebrated the organization’s 10-year anniversary.

Randy Kimpton, president of the organization, said the way the program has grown over the years has been amazing to witness.

“It has evolved into something that’s absolutely incredible,” Kimpton said. “The healing that goes on that no one had expected would happen.”

The five-day trip starts in Anchorage, where the October flight saw 21 World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans board Flight 198 to Portland, Oregon.

From there, the group overnights at a hotel near the Portland International Airport and boards another Alaska Airlines flight the following morning for Washington D.C.

Over the course of the trip the veterans — alongside their guardians — visited multiple memorials, including the World War II, Korean, Vietnam, Navy, Air Force, Women in Military Service for America, and Marine Corps.

The trip also included a visit to Arlington Cemetary in the Capital, where the veterans received a front-row seat to the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The Last Frontier Honor Flight is just one part of an entire national network of Honor Flight organizations that served 21,800 veterans in 2022 with 18,709 guardians participating.

Including the October flight, the Last Frontier Honor Flight has flown a total of 382 Alaskan veterans to the nation’s capital.