Today the second Veterans Honor Flight of Southern Illinois takes off–in fact, they are off as I sit and write this. I had a post ready to go, but my heart was telling me to write about the Honor Flight.
Tonight these Veterans will return home at the Veterans Airport on Route 13 in Marion. The events will begin around 5 p.m., and the Veterans should return at 8 p.m.
If you haven’t heard of the Veterans Honor Flight, let me share a little bit about it with you.
The Honor Flight is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing veterans with honor and closure. I love that. The Honor Flight also works to do whatever it takes to fulfill the dreams of our veterans and help our nation’s heroes travel absolutely free.
The inaugural Honor Flight Tour took place in May of 2005. Six small plays flew out of Springfield, Ohio taking twelve World War II veterans on a visit to the memorial in Washington, DC. In August of 2005, an ever-expanding waiting list of veterans lead to a transition of commercial airline carriers with a goal of accommodating as many veterans as possible.
Since then, interest has increased and through the generosity of donors, around 20,558 veterans have flow in 2016. Accompanying those veterans are their guardians, and around 18, 202 guardians have traveled with veterans in 2016. Additionally, there are 45 states who are home to 131 Honor Flight Hubs with around 27, 272 veterans on the waiting list.
In our community of southern Illinois, we have an Honor Flight Hub. Flight 2 departed today. It is simply amazing to me that this nation-wide network is right in our backyard.
This organization is doing great things for Veterans, and I love that. They also need your support. You can do that in a variety of ways.
- Consider traveling to the Veterans Airport in southern Illinois (Route 13) and welcome these veterans home. Due to the overwhelming response from the last flight, there will be public parking at off-site locations. Check http://veteranshonorflight.org
- You can become a guardian or help this organization find veterans. Again, check the website (listed above) for more information.
- You can donate to this organization. There is so much prep and planning that goes into this event, and this organization is doing good things for our veterans. You can donate online and in person. Again, using the website link above will help you do that.
Today, and every day we honor our veterans. I am so happy to know there are so many well deserving veterans traveling to Washington DC today. If you have a moment, please keep this second flight in your thoughts and prayers–well wishes for good weather and safe travel.
Check out Facebook to keep up with the Honor Flight! Veterans Honor Flight of Southern Illinois is on Facebook, and Twitter via the Honor Flight Network (as well as local news media who will be covering the flight).
Godspeed, Veterans and Guardians…