SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota (KDLT) — South Dakota’s largest meat-processing plant is helping to send Siouxland veterans to Washington D.C. this fall.
Smithfield Foods is donating $125,000 to Sioux Center, Iowa-based “Midwest Honor Flight.”
The donation will sponsor a chartered flight for 80 World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans, who are from northwest Iowa, southeast South Dakota, and southwest Minnesota, so they can visit memorials in D.C.
Smithfield says the donation represents the company’s respect for those who have served.
“Communities wouldn’t be here without the veterans, they’re the people that went out, gave themselves in service and we need to give something back to them,” said Plant Manager Mark Wiggs.
The trip is free for the veterans, many of whom have never seen their respective war memorials.
“To see the real one, maybe get some rubs on the brothers that I lost over there, it would be the feeling is just, I can’t explain it. There’s no way to explain it. And emotional, I guarantee you, I will be breaking down when we get there, just the thought of it gets me choked up right now,” said Vietnam Air Force Veteran Bill Kortemeyer.
The flight is scheduled to leave September 24.