As Honor Flight of the Quad Cities takes off Tuesday, Oct. 4, it will honor Art Petersen, one of a handful of area veterans who helped establish the local flight hub that has transported thousands of veterans to see their memorials in Washington, D.C.
The “Art Petersen Memorial Flight” marks the 54th flight for Quad Cities Honor Flight. It will depart early Tuesday from the Quad Cities International Airport, Moline.
More than 90 veterans, most of whom served during the Vietnam War, will be on board and treated to a day-long tour in the nation’s capital. Many will be visiting “the wall” for the first time. They will be accompanied by 60 volunteer “guardians” who will assist them throughout the day.
The flight honors Mr. Petersen, who died April 25, 2021. According to his obituary, he served in the U.S. Army for two years during the Korean conflict and was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant. Mr. Petersen was a founding board member of Honor Flight Quad Cities and served many years as its treasurer. The flight will carry his funeral flag, and the group will honor him at the Korean memorial.
The flight commander will be Phil Corwin, an Honor Flight board member, and a retired Army lieutenant colonel. Mr. Corwin has been on many past Honor Flights and will be assisted by Deputy Commander Jake Ward, and three veteran bus captains.
Organizers said health and safety will be of prime importance and masks will be worn by all participants whenever it is required by local regulations.
After a day full of touring the various war monuments in Washington, the group will return about 10 p.m. Tuesday and the public is invited to be on hand to welcome the heroes home. Guests are encouraged to arrive before 10 p.m. at the Quad Cities airport and give the veterans a warm reception and welcome home.
Any veteran who was on active duty during World War II, Korea or Vietnam is urged to fill out an application to participate on an Honor Flight. Volunteers interested in going on a flight as a Guardian to assist the Veterans throughout the day also may apply for a future flight. Applications are available at www.honorflightqc.org.