Today a flight left Marion, Illinois with Veterans and their volunteers to head to Washington D.C. to visit memorials honoring their sacrifices and services to our country.
The Honor Flight Network is a nonprofit network of organizations created to honor American Veterans by transporting them to Washington, D.C., to visit war memorials. Did you know that of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, only 620,000 were alive in 2016. Unfortunately, they are not with us, or dying quickly.
The National World War II Museum estimates that 372 World War II Veterans die each day.
We have friends who have volunteered for this precious task of escorting a Veteran. This morning, images were on the local news and our Facebook feeds…I had goosebumps and tears. What an amazing journey for these folks.
Priority is given to World War II Veterans and Veterans who are terminally ill. There have been fundraisers in our area for these Veterans and today they left the Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois for Washington D.C. They will return home tonight.
Veterans and their Guardians will be in Washington D.C. The guardians are essential to the success of the Honor Flight because without them, the dreams of getting these Veterans to see these memorials and have this opportunity would not be possible.
In addition to escorting these Veterans, the guardians have some responsibilities as well. They include flight prep, reviewing material with the Veteran, getting their boarding passes together in addition to assisting them board the aircraft, exit the aircraft, and push a wheelchair if necessary. The main goal: ensure that the Veteran has a memorable trip.
I’m so excited to see these Veterans return. I’m so honored to know folks who volunteered their time as guardians, and I’m very proud that southern Illinois has this amazing opportunity.
Please, if you are local, consider visiting these Veterans and welcome them home. The Honor Flight will return to the Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois in Marion.