This time a special HonorAir Knoxville salute goes out to women who’ve served in the U.S. military.

HonorAir Knoxville said Monday the April 2020 flight will honor East Tennessee women veterans, giving them an opportunity to see the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in Washington, D.C., built to honor their service.

The Women’s Memorial is the only major national memorial honoring all women who have defended America throughout history.

“This will be our 30th flight,” Eddie Mannis, chairman of HonorAir, said in a news release. “I wanted to focus on women veterans as 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment that guaranteed and protected women’s constitutional rights and gave them the right to vote.”

The flight also will honor Avonia B. Thress, of Hamblen County, whose estate made a significant contribution to HonorAir.

Women always have been a part of the military since the Revolutionary War. A prohibition on women serving in combat was in effect during the Vietnam War and beyond. It was not until 2015 that all combat positions were open to females, the release noted. Consequently, the flight is open to women veterans with priority given to those serving their country through 1992.

The flight from McGhee Tyson Airport is free of charge and includes a roundtrip flight to Washington on American Airlines, a bus tour of the military memorials, meals and snacks. Interested veterans can go to honorairknox and download, complete and return the April 2020 application. Veterans also can call Jim Cundall at 865-719-8868 for more information.

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