OTTUMWA — The idea of honor flights developed in part out of the idea aging World War II veterans deserved the opportunity to see the national memorial built in their honor after it opened in 2004.

As the number of veterans from WWII has dwindled, the flights have expanded to include veterans from the wars in Korea and Vietnam. A new effort is being made now to reach out to veterans in southeast Iowa.

A Southern Iowa Honor Flight is planned for September, and is currently accepting applications. The forms are available online for download at southerniowahonorflight.com. Those who need an application mailed can contact Don Zoutte at (641) 891-0510.

Applications must be mailed back to be considered. The address is The Southern Iowa Honor Flight, PO Box 592, Knoxville, IA 50138.

Organizers are also in the process of collecting donations to cover the cost of the flight. Expenses include one night and two meals in Des Moines prior to departure, the charter flight itself, buses for transportation in Washington, D.C., and two meals there. Organizers also plan to provide shirts and caps for the veterans who are on the flight, along with fanny packs to hold essentials like medicine they may need.

Questions about the flight can be directed to Zoutte at the number above.

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