As World War II veterans have aged, the emphasis is placed on ensuring they have an opportunity to go to Washington to visit their memorial.
The inaugural Honor Flight took place in May 2005.
A half-dozen small planes flew out of Springfield, Ohio, taking 12 World War II veterans on a visit to the memorial, according to the national organization's website.
In August 2005, an ever-increasing waiting list of veterans led to a transition to commercial airline carriers with the goal of accommodating as many veterans as possible. Partnering with HonorAir in Hendersonville, N.C., they formed the “Honor Flight Network.”
On Sept. 24, 2007, HonorAir out of Hendersonville, N.C., and Henderson County, N.C., were the first city and the first county in the nation to fly all of their World War II veterans to Washington.
In 2009, state Rep. Gary W. Banz, R-Midwest City, the son and nephew of five World War II brothers, worked to help start Oklahoma Honor Flights hub.
Before that, Oklahoma veterans had to travel with hubs of other states.
Slightly more than a week before Veterans Day 2009, then-Gov. Brad Henry threw his support behind a privately funded effort to help World War II service members and other veterans get to Washington to visit national monuments and memorials dedicated to their service.
In early November of that year, Henry announced during a state Capitol news conference that Oklahoma had become an official state hub of Honor Flight Network Inc., a national nonprofit organization that raises money to organize and finance trips.
And May 17, 2010, marked the inaugural trip of the Oklahoma Honor Flights chapter to Washington. The second trip was taken in October 2010.
The Oct. 12 trip was the third of 2011 and the fifth flight overall for Oklahoma Honor Flights, a nonprofit organization created solely to honor Oklahoma's veterans for their sacrifices.
Banz continues to work tirelessly with Oklahoma Honor Flights along with others, including his wife, Linda Banz.
With this, the fifth flight, 502 veterans have traveled with the Oklahoma Honor Flights hub.
There currently are more than 360 veterans on the waiting list, Banz said.