Veterans Gather for Honor Flight Holiday Ball

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COLUMBIA - Missouri veterans and guests gathered in Columbia for the "Home for the Holidays" Central Missouri Honor Flight Ball. The annual ball is one way the Honor Flight program funds trips for World War II veterans to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The program sends the veterans on a one-day, round-trip flight to the nation's capital at no cost. So far, the Central Missouri Honor Flight program has flown 960 veterans to see their memorials.

Many veterans told KOMU that the experience to travel to the memorial with other local veterans was irreplaceable. Sunday night's ball both honored past Honor Flight veterans, and funded the way for future Honor Flight veteran trips.

Central Missouri Honor Flight Chapter President Mary Paulsell, said this year's ball was a success.

"This is the largest crowd we've ever had, so I think thats a very strong testament to the high regard in which our community holds our veterans... and we are thrilled that so many of our veterans who have flown with us are actually with us this evening as well," Paulsell said.

The event honored fallen soldiers, as well as those missing in action.

If you know a veteran who is interested in the program, would like to donate to the program or would like more information, you can visit this link.