Platte Valley Bank Donates $5K For Chadron Honor Flights


      Platte Valley Bank in Chadron has donated $5,000 to Nebraska Mid-American Honor Flight Inc, the organization that puts on the veterans Honor Flights from Chadron to Washington, DC.

     Over 140 veterans in 13 groups to tour Washington since local flights began in 2012 through a group that eventually was formalized as Nebraska Mid-American

Rob Bila, president of the Platte Valley Bank branches in Chadron and Alliance, says the company is thrilled to be supporting such a great organization.

Larry Hix is president of Nebraska Mid-American Honor Flight board and says gifts such as the one from Platte Valley Bank are what allow it to offer the DC trips at no cost to the veterans and the companions – dubbed guardians – who go with them. 

There were no Chadron Honor Flights in 2020 or 2021 because of the pandemic, but the program resumed with its 13th flight last May. Hix says plans are still coming together for this year.

The first several flights were all WW-II veterans, but Hix says all area veterans of that war who are still alive and capable of making the trip have done so. He expects this year’s trip – or trips – to be almost entirely Vietnam-era vets.

Businessman Rob Wahlstrom and attorney Marty Connealy began the local program after seeing stories about the National Honor Flight program, created to take WWII veterans to the nation’s capital to see the then-new WWII Memorial.

    The term Honor Flight continues to be used by most community members, but the Chadron group isn’t part of the national Honor Flights organization. Honor Flights does have the Northern Panhandle veterans join its tours once they arrive in Washington.