Honor Flight On Sept. 1 Will Pay Tribute To 82 Local Veterans

Southeast Florida Honor Flight’s “Operation Homecoming.”

Southeast Florida Honor Flight takes to the skies again on Saturday, Sept. 1 to recognize the contribution and sacrifices made by World War II and Korean War veterans.

The third of four flights in 2018. This special one-day tribute will honor 82 local veterans — 14 from WWII and 68 from the Korean War. It will leave Palm Beach International Airport at 6 a.m. to spend the day in Washington, D.C., and return that evening. Every Honor Flight is designed to fly local veterans to the nation’s capital to visit and reflect at the memorials built to honor their service and sacrifices.

The day that many veterans say is one of the best days of their lives begins early with a 4:30 a.m. check-in of veterans, their guardians and Honor Flight staff. The chartered American Airlines Airbus 321 flies into Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, where the group will board four police-escorted motor coaches. The day’s agenda includes visits to 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 Sept. 1 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 (46), Navy (10), Air Force (15), Marine Corps (8) and Coast Guard (3).

In Honor Flight tradition, the public is invited and encouraged to show how they remember these veterans by welcoming them home from Washington at “Operation Homecoming” at Palm Beach International Airport, the evening of Saturday, Sept. 1. All are invited to greet the veterans’ arrival and give them a true welcome home — a welcome that many never received years ago. Bring signs of thanks, flags, cheers and handshakes.

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. This red, white and blue welcome home tops off an amazing day for the veterans.

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

Southeast Florida Honor Flight needs the public’s help to find local WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans who have not yet taken an Honor Flight. Without a federal veteran database, the organization relies on word of mouth, public education via presentations and civic/veteran groups to find these veterans to sign up for their Honor Flight.

If you are, or if you know of a WWII, Korean War or Vietnam War veteran who would like to take an Honor Flight, and has not already done so, either call (855) FLYAVET (855-359-2838) or fill out the veteran application online at www.honorflightsefl.org. Top priority continues to be given to WWII veterans and terminal veterans of any war.

Honor Flight also always needs those who wish to give back as guardians — trip escorts for the veterans — for the four flights per year. For those interested, 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, visit www.honorflightsefl.org or www.facebook.com/honorflight.

The next scheduled Honor Flight organized by Southeast Florida Honor Flight will be on Oct. 13.