Local World War II veterans who missed out on the first flight will get another chance to visit their national memorial in Washington, D.C., come May.
Organizers are planning another flight from Myrtle Beach to take veterans for a free day-trip to Washington. The flight is scheduled to leave May 25.
The May flight follows the inaugural trip by Honor Flight Grand Strand/Myrtle Beach, which took about 90 veterans on Nov. 10 to the National WWII Memorial.
Local Honor Flight volunteer Bill Krzyk said the May flight can accommodate about 85 veterans and 55 guardians.
So far, 31 veterans and 12 guardians have signed up to go, Krzyk said.
Local Honor Flight chairman Walter Kollet is already thinking about a third trip from Myrtle Beach.
"I understand there's quite a bit of veterans out there," Kollet said.
There are 33,439 veterans in Horry and Georgetown counties based on the 2007 population, according to the Horry County Veterans Affairs Office. Of that number, close to 3,300 are WWII veterans.
Officials expect they'll find there are more veterans than they think after the census numbers are released.
Many veterans, however, have never seen the national WWII memorial, making the trip even more special.
"For us, it's nothing like it because when we see their faces, that makes it all worthwhile," Kollet said about the trip. "It's a great thing."
WWII veteran Jacob Bieger, 88, also thinks it's a great idea and will see the memorial for the first time in May.
Bieger, who tried to go on the last trip and was on a waiting list, said the memorial is "something I would like to see."
"I appreciate it was made," said Bieger, who was in the Navy from 1943 to 1946. "I didn't want to miss it if I had the opportunity to see it."
The Honor Flight Grand Strand/Myrtle Beach is the fourth region in the state to be added to the national program. Flights have left from Columbia, Charleston and Kershaw, officials said. Each trip costs about $60,000, which covers the chartered flight, meals and a tour bus for veterans.
Organizers have raised a little more than $30,000 so far for the upcoming Myrtle Beach trip, Krzyk said.
The trips are funded through donations and guardians, who pay $500 to go and assist vets on the trips.
To help raise money for the May trip, organizers have planned an "Honor Flight Night" with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on April 28 and a golf outing at True Blue Golf Plantation in Pawleys Island on May 10, Krzyk said.
Contact JANELLE FROST at 443-2404.