An Honor Flight just for women is in the works – that is, if enough of them can be found for a plane ride to see landmarks and memorials in Washington, D.C.
The Quad Cities Honor Flight Hub plans to make it happen in the next year or two. It is seeking women who served during World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam wars for an all-woman flight, Hub President Steve Garrington told Whiteside County Honor Flight members during a recent picnic in Morrison.
“We certainly would like every female who has been in the service during Vietnam, during Korea, to get in touch with us to get them on a flight,” he said.
Finding enough female veterans to make it happen will be a challenge. The Hub had made 48 flights to the nation’s capitol, with two more coming this year. Most flights carry up to 100 veterans, but only have a couple of servicewomen, if that.
Garrington is giving interested women the option to hold off on upcoming flights until the all-woman one materializes. He also is considering a half-and-half flight with an even number of men and women as an option if the prime idea fizzles.
“We’re taking 100 vets at a time, and finding 50 ladies might be difficult,” he said.
Such a flight has been done before; the first was organized in 2015 out of Cincinnatti and a few others have followed, Garrington said.
There were 727,919 Illinois veterans in 2015, the most recent year in which statistics were available, and 5.7% (about 42,000) were women.