Program that honors vets cannot be allowed to stall.
An outstanding program that's delivered the trip of a lifetime for many World War II veterans in Kansas should be flying high.
Instead, it's hit a bumpy stretch.
Central Prairie Honor Flights out of Great Bend has been involved in a number of flights to Washington, D.C., as part of a mission to treat World War II veterans to tours of the nation's capital.
The Honor Flights loaded with vets and their loved ones have departed communities across the nation. Once in Washington, veterans are treated to a tour of war monuments, including the World War II Memorial dedicated in 2004.
Unfortunately, issues between Central Prairie and the national Honor Flight Network in Ohio stand to stall the effort in Kansas.
The Honor Flight Network has decided it doesn't want Central Prairie to organize future flights, citing such problems with trips conducted by the Kansas-based outfit as a veteran breaking a rib falling out of a bunk, late reports and checks not being cashed for months.
With the Great Bend operation apparently shelved, two former volunteers with that program would like to fill the void.
They're planning a new organization — Kansas Honor Flight out of Hutchinson — with a goal of streamlining the program and, hopefully, making it easier for Kansas veterans to take advantage.
Moving forward, all involved should set aside any differences and take the high road by keeping the interest of the veterans in mind. Considering all our veterans encountered during war, they no doubt must wonder how such issues could ground the Honor Flight program.
And time is of the essence, as we lose World War II veterans every day in the nation. Every surviving veteran deserves an opportunity to go on an Honor Flight.
The trips come at no cost to veterans (they're funded by contributions) and are a fitting tribute to those who served the nation so well. Many participants also say the experience helped them find closure decades after their service.
Let's hope all involved navigate through the issues and make sure more World War II veterans in Kansas have a chance to take in an Honor Flight — and soon.