In today’s blog, I am sharing with you some information about a program that I think is very worthwhile, the Honor Flight Network, and its RV Convoy Program.
The Honor Flight Network (HFN) began four years ago, as a flight program to get World War II Veterans on an expense-paid trip to personally visit the popular World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. Since its inception, Honor Flight has safely transported over 18,000 veterans. There are seventy one (71) active hubs in thirty (30) states.
In 2008, HFN took possession of a 28’ Class C motorhome, donated by Mae Davis, in Madison, Indiana. Following a custom decal wrap, the RV became the flagship of the newly launched Honor Flight Recreational Vehicle Convoy (RVC) program. RV travel offers an opportunity to visit the World War II Memorial to veterans who do not wish to fly. For able bodied World War II veteran couples, it offers a chance to make a three day trip together, visiting the memorials built in their honor and perhaps spending time with other couples making the trip at the same time.
With the inaugural trip being made in September 2008, and two more following in October and November, 55 WWII Veterans were safely and comfortably transported to Washington D.C. Since then, Honor Flight has recruited several RV owners from the Dayton and Springfield, Ohio area, who made a once-in-a lifetime opportunity come true for a number of veterans who traveled with them. The RV owners were excited about the new program, and have expressed an overwhelming appreciation for the opportunity to give something back to these wonderful men and women.
RV owners continue to be recruited for the latest program. Honor Flight Network is asking for the continued support of the RV community in Ohio and other eastern states to help expand this program. Future plans include RV hosts escorting veterans from western states with no local active hubs to hubs with flying programs, making it possible for these veterans to make a flight to Washington DC. Participating RV owners are able to claim expenses for their fuel and miscellaneous costs on their federal tax returns as a contribution to Honor Flight, a federal nonprofit. RV owners traveling to Washington will enjoy meals, and a deluxe motor coach tour to all the war memorials in Washington D.C. on a Saturday. “Such a visit to these incredible memorials is even more wonderful when accompanied by the heroes for whom these memorials were built,” said Earl Morse, Honor Flight Founder.
During the day, veterans will be escorted and cared for by other RV occupants who escort the veterans from their home towns. As schedules permit, participants visit the World War II, Korean, Vietnam, Iwo Jima Memorials, and Arlington Cemetery. Meals, tee shirts, disposable cameras, and tour bus service are provided at no cost to the World War II Veterans.
Interested RV owners are encouraged to contact Honor Flight Network Headquarters at (937) 521-2400 or email program organizer Dian Holland at [email protected].
Time to visit the World War II Memorial is not in our veterans’ favor. According to 2007 Department of Veterans Affairs and Arlington National Cemetery statistics, about 1,200 World War II veterans pass away every day. The youngest World War II veteran is now over 80 years old. In another five to 10 years, most World War II veterans will be gone. More than 250 veterans on the Honor Flight waiting list have passed away while waiting their turn to visit their war memorial.
In this time of giving, I hope you might consider giving your support to the Honor Flight Network, either as an RV host, or by a cash donation. Our World War II vets deserve our support, while we can still give it to them.
Thought For The Day – For a woman to get half as much credit as a man, she has to work twice as hard and be twice as smart. Fortunately, that isn’t very difficult.