By Debbie Gregory
Earlier this month, the Honor Flight Network aided 135 Veterans in achieving their dream trip from Kansas City, MO to the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
As stated on their website, www.honorflight.org, “The Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s Veterans for all their sacrifices.”
The organization was founded in 2004 by U.S. Air Force (Ret.)Captain Earl Morse. While working for the VA at a clinic in Springfield, Ohio, he noticed that many of his older patients at the clinic were interested in visiting the World War II Memorial. Unfortunately, they were very often physically or financially unable to make it to the memorial in their honor.
For the first Honor Flight, the former military physician’s assistant and licensed civilian pilot flew a single World War II Veteran at his own cost. A week later, he took a second WWII Veteran. Both Veterans were moved to tears by the generous gift. Morse began recruiting the help of his pilot friends, and the Honor Flight Network took off.
The latest excursion, out of the Heartland Honor Flight, was one of the largest groups that has ever gone out of the Midwest. The group of more than 135 Veterans included 85 WWII Veterans and 5 Korean War Veterans. Each Veteran was allowed to bring one caregiver or family member to assist them on their journey to Washington, D.C. The oldest Veteran to make this trip was reported to be 98 years old.
The Veterans on this trip were taken to the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Marine Corps War Memorial, the Iwo Jima Memorial, and the Air Force Memorial. They also went to Arlington National Cemetery to pay their respects.
For most of these Veterans, it was their first and only chance to visit the memorials built in honor of their sacrifices. The Honor Flight Network is providing a great service to Veterans who deserve to see the monuments that the nation has dedicated in their honor.
To apply for an Honor Flight, follow the link to their application portal. Please note that the Honor Flight Network holds World War II and terminally ill Veterans in priority for their service.
To donate to the Honor Flight Network please CLICK HERE.
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Military Connection: Honor Flight Takes Off: By Debbie Gregory