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Ten Hut! Veterans offered free trip to war memorials
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A previous Honor Flight Savannah group poses for a photo at the World War II Memorial in Washington., D.C..

SPRINGFIELD — A group of select men and women who endured some of the world's most unwelcoming places has a chance to go somewhere it is guaranteed to be well received.

Honor Flight Savannah is searching for World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans to take to Washington, D.C., for a free weekend of visiting war memorials and special treatment in May 2019. 

Interested veterans can learn about the trip by visting the Mars Theatre on Nov. 3 during the Springfield Fall Festival. Honor Flight Savannah volunteers will be on hand to offer details starting at noon.

The theatre will also host a Nov. 14 meeting that will feature a 45-minute video about Honor Flight Savannah and men and women who have experieced it. That event will start at 6 p.m.

Jerry Maenneche is a staunch advocate for the program. He urges all veterans to sign up for a Washington bus trip. One is available in May 2019.

“Most of the people I talk to have never heard of it,” Maenneche said. “When I explain it to them, I can read their face. They are thinking that there has to be a catch somewhere. 

“They keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

 There really is no cost for veterans to participate. Honor Flight Savannah is a 501(c)(3) organization that operates on donations.

Honor flight tours include the World War II Memorial, American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, United States Navy Museum and Memorial, United States Air Force Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial, Women in Military Service to America Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, plus the Korean and Vietnam War memorials.

Each Honor Flight Savannah participant is accompanied by a guardian. A doctor is also with the group at all times.

"Certainly, World War II and Korean War veterans are at the head of the line," said Ed Wexler, Honor Flight Savannah's director of development and fundraising."They jump way ahead because of their advanced age."

Vietnam War veterans ages 75 and over also are given priority status. Those with serious medical conditions, regardless of their age, are, too.

"If anybody has any questions about this, they can call me," Maenneche said. "I know Effingham County has lots of World War II and Korean War veterans. I'd like to make contact with them."

Maenneche can be reached by phone at (912) 663-0322. His email address is