Honor Flight to take 82 war vets to D.C. May 19

The South Florida Honor Flight again recognizes the contribution, service and sacrifices made by the nation’s WWII and Korean War veterans by paying tribute to them with an Honor Flight on Saturday, May 19, the second of four flights for 2018.  This flight, which will honor 82 local veterans, 15 from WWII and 67 from the Korean War, will leave Palm Beach International Airport at 6 a.m. to spend the day in Washington, D.C. and return the same evening.

Every Honor Flight is designed to bring local veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit and reflect at the memorials built to honor their service and sacrifices.

After a 4:30 a.m. check-in, veterans, their guardians and Honor Flight staff will board the chartered American Airlines Airbus 321 and head for Washington, D.C. The group will visit, via four police-escorted motor coaches, the Air Force Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery for the Changing of the Guard Ceremony, the World War II Memorial and the Korean War Memorial.

The May 19 trip is made up of veterans who served during WWII and the Korean War (with a few serving in both Korea and Vietnam) from these military branches:  Army (44), Navy (19), Air Force (12) and Marines (7). Just a few of the wartime positions represented are: rifle instructor, electrician’s mate, radio operator/repairman, typist clerk, tanker mortar squad, infantryman, optometrist, cook, boatswains mate, combat engineer, B-36 Bomber electrician, military policeman, tank commander, dental technician, forward observer, meteorologist, heavy weapons crewman, leaflet printer, aircraft mechanic, info scout, transport driver and fire control instructor.

Veterans on this trip served wherever ordered, whether that was stateside or in combat in battles around the globe, including:  Battle of Anzio, Central Europe Campaigns, Battle of Iwo Jima, the Solomon Islands and the Battle of Inchon.

In Honor Flight tradition, the public can also show how they remember these veterans by welcoming them home from Washington at “Operation Homecoming” at Palm Beach International Airport, the evening of Saturday, May 19.

Operation Homecoming is an emotional event for both the veterans and the crowd. All are invited to come await the veterans’ arrival to give them a true welcome home, a welcome that most never received years ago.  Signs of thanks, flags, cheers and handshakes are encouraged.

Operation Homecoming takes place at Palm Beach International Airport, Level 2, Concourse A/B. The Honor Flight will arrive at PBIA at 7:20 p.m.  Early arrival is recommended. Please come be part of a heart-warming evening. These grateful handshakes and cheers top off a day that most veterans say is one of the best days of their lives.

For more information on Operation Homecoming, please call 1-855-FLYAVET (855-359-2838).

Honor Flight also always needs guardians—trip escorts for the veterans–for the four flights per year. For those interested, please visit www.honorflightsefl.org and complete the online guardian application. It is an extremely meaningful day for both guardian and veteran.

Southeast Florida Honor Flight, along with the 133 other hubs in the nationwide Honor Flight Network, is dedicated to flying America’s veterans to their respective memorials in Washington, D.C., free of charge to the veteran. Southeast Florida Honor Flight is a 100 percent volunteer organization based in Stuart and serves Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, Okeechobee and Palm Beach Counties.

For more information, to get involved or donate, please visit:  www.honorflightsefl.org, or www.facebook.com/honorflight, or call 1-855-FLYAVET (855-359-2838).

The next scheduled 2018 Honor Flights for Southeast Florida Honor Flight are Sept. 1 and Oct. 13.

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