Logan County Vets to D.C. is putting out a last call to local veterans who served during the time of World War II, the Korean War or Vietnam War that the organization is making plans for their seventh and final trip to the nation’s capital this fall.
“We want to let everyone know that this will be our last trip,” organizer Scott Stewart said this week. “For anyone who has thought about going before, we would encourage you to sign up and get your applications in.”
This year’s adventures for the honored veteran guests, who travel free of charge, are slated for the weekend of Sept. 22-24.
Since its first trip in 2016, the non-profit organization has hosted more than 300 veterans on the annual venture to Washington, D.C., to see their memorials for the first time. Many of the veterans also are accompanied by a traveling companion, who pay his or her own way.
Last year, Logan County Vets to D.C. actually took two trips – one in May and the second in September – to make up for time lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the treks were canceled in 2020 and 2021.
In the fall, Stewart said the number of veterans signing up for the D.C. travels had dwindled a little recently, and the organization believed it had reached nearly all of those county residents who were interested and eligible for the trip.
“If it’s time to stop, we will, but if we have more interest, it’s possible we could go to D.C. again,” he said just prior to the September trip.
For the September 2023 trip, seats for two charter buses of travelers are nearly full already, so the trip likely will involve three charter buses for the first time.
“We have to make a decision (about the buses) by the first of April about that, so that’s why we need everyone’s applications as soon as possible,” he said.
Veterans who are interested in attending the trip are encouraged to contact Stewart directly for the application by calling (937) 407-6766.
Over the years, it has only been through many local fundraisers, generous donations and dedicated volunteer efforts from all ages that the organization has been able to honor so many local heroes with this meaningful and memorable honor.
“The community has been behind us from day one, and it has been incredible to see all of that support continue to this day; we are very grateful,” Stewart said.
“We have so much participation from all over, from high school football teams helping load luggage, band members performing at the send-off, to 4-H members who make quilts for the veterans, and so many volunteers organizing efforts behind the scenes.”
In addition to the upcoming travels, plans are in the works for a reunion picnic for previous Vets to D.C. attendees, along with 2023 trip participants, slated for July 29 at the Stewart’s River Birch venue, with further details to be announced.
Moving forward, even after the final trip, Logan County Vets to D.C. plans to continue hosting these types of events and its mission of supporting retired service members.
“Our volunteer group will not disband. We have other plans for dinners and outreach projects to serve our local veterans,” Stewart said.