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All honor flights postponed amid coronavirus outbreak

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Honor Flight Network has postponed all trips across the US, amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Stars & Stripes Honor Flight in Milwaukee announced on its Facebook page Wednesday morning that the Honor Flight Network, based in Virginia, has consulted with the CDC about travel recommendations.

The Honor Flight Network is now postponing all March and April flights from all states.

Stars & Stripes Honor Flight says it plans to reschedule those flights for later this year.

Badger Honor Flight was scheduled to fly 100 veterans to Washington on April 18. The Honor Flight says the CDC recently issued advisories that people over age 60 should not travel right now.

Badger Honor Flight's board is working to communicate the information with veterans, guardians and volunteers right now. They hope to reschedule by fall.

As calls were coming in with concerns leading up to this decision, the board had talked about ways to reduce the risk for the veterans when they are able to travel.

"One of the key aspects of the Honor Flight experience is to come home to that welcome home that our veterans deserve and we want them to enjoy that experience. And their safety is our main concern. So whether that was knit gloves, so they could still go down the parade route and shake hands, or making sure we had disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, the planes being sanitized and clean the buses and really taking as many precautions as possible," said chair Nicole Jennings.

The Honor Flight Network says more than 20,000 veterans visit Washington through the programs every year, to see the memorials dedicated to their service.

"Unfortunately, the vast majority of the veterans we serve fall into the CDC’s high-risk category. Many of the veterans also live in community settings, such as retirement homes or assisted living facilities, where the risk of spreading illness is extremely high," the network said in a statement Wednesday.

Jennifer Kliese

Weekend Anchor and Reporter, 27 News

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