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Tue, Apr 25, 2023

Yellow Ribbon Honor Flight Returns to AirVenture 2023

Honoring the Veterans of America’s Bleakest War

Among the most emotional and poignant traditions of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA) annual AirVenture fly-in will again be observed in 2023. One-hundred Vietnam War veterans will be honored on 28 July with a Yellow Ribbon Honor Flight by which they will be transported from Oshkosh, Wisconsin’s Wittman Regional Airport to Washington D.C.

While in the capital, the veterans will visit the United States’ most sacrosanct memorials—including the Vietnam Veterans Memorial—before returning to Oshkosh at the end of Friday’s air show. Upon disembarking at OSH, the returning veterans will be honored by thousands of event attendees gathered to salute them earnestly—if not nearly fifty-years after the proverbial fact.

The 70th annual Experimental Aircraft Association fly-in convention will be held  at Wittman Regional Airport (OSH) in Oshkosh, Wisconsin from 24 through 30 July 2023.

EAA vice president of communities and member programming Rick Larsen stated: “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: Fifty Years Later schedule of activities. 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.”

2023 will be the ninth year the Yellow Ribbon Honor Flight has been staged under the auspices of the Appleton, Wisconsin-based non-profit Old Glory Honor Flight. Since 2009, a dedicated group of volunteers within subject organization has orchestrated dozens of Honor Flights, including special flights to Pearl Harbor and to Vietnam.

Old Glory Honor Flight executive director Diane MacDonald set forth: “Each Honor Flight mission is a special occasion, but the ability to be a part of EAA AirVenture always creates unforgettable moments. 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 will again supply the airliner by which the Yellow Ribbon Honor Flight will be operated. The jet will be flown by an all-volunteer crew of American Airlines pilots and cabin attendants.

Old Glory Honor Flight will be inviting veterans currently on the organization’s waitlist to participate in the upcoming Yellow Ribbon flight.

For the benefit of younger readers: The Vietnam War was a conflict in the Southeast Asian nations of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Hostilities commenced on 1 November 1955 and dragged on until the fall of Saigon—now Ho Chi Minh City—on 30 April 1975. The war’s official belligerents were Soviet/Chinese-supported, communist North Vietnam, and U.S./NATO-supported, democratic South Vietnam. The conflict is widely considered a Cold War-era proxy war.

Direct U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War came to an end in 1973—by which time 57,015 American servicemen had lost their lives. By war’s end, a tragic total of 58,193 Americans had perished.

By commemorating the Vietnam War and honoring those who served therein, EAA and Old Glory Honor Flight demonstrate the vision, leadership, and humanity for which the respective organizations are widely and rightly renowned.

FMI: www.eaa.org, www.oldgloryhonorflight.org

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