Veteran Memorial Visits Celebrating Ten Years
BE THERE TO WELCOME THE NEXT HONOR FLIGHT HOME
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5 AT 8:30PM • AUSTIN INT’L AIRPORT • UPPER LEVEL by the AMERICAN AIRLINES COUNTER
According to US Department of Veterans Affairs statistics, only 167,284 of our 16 million American World War II Veterans are living, and 640 are lost every day. While we can never repay them for their service, we can help them get on an Honor Flight while they are still with us.
Honor Flight was created in 2005 as a means to enable surviving veterans to visit the Nation’s Capital and the World War II memorial that commemorates their service. It was not completed until 2004 so many of the Greatest Generation veterans were unable to see it in their lifetimes. Today, Honor Flights continue to delight and thank Americans who served in Korea, Vietnam, and Cold War duty stations through 1975.
THE TEXAS NETWORK
Honor Flight Austin was founded in 2012 and has taken nearly 3,000 Central Texas Veterans, at no cost to them, to Washington DC on 76 flights. Director Matt Mathias, his executive board, and many volunteers have long been committed to doing whatever it takes to fulfill the dreams of veterans and help them travel to visit the memorials to their service. Matt says, “Williamson County has been one of the most productive of our 14 counties because the veteran organizations here are so active. We have had many flights from Georgetown and Sun City and we are asking everyone, again, to help us identify as many willing and able WWII Veterans in the state so we can give them this chance. I saw the way this trip changed my father’s life and so many others’. They walk a little taller and many find they are able to finally tell their stories.”
Matt says the organization must raise about $65,000 for each flight of 40 veterans and they are grateful for support from companies like HEB and Frontier Bank, and from their many private donors.
PEARL HARBOR REMEMBRANCE
There is still time to donate to or apply for the all-WWII tour December 6-7, which will include the national Pearl Harbor remembrance ceremony. Matt says, “Each veteran is asked to place a wreath and is accompanied by a high ranking official—Secretary of the Navy or a three-star general for example—so we are looking for any WWII Veterans in the state of Texas to give them this opportunity to travel and participate.”
Friends and family may nominate a Veteran for an Honor Flight by filling out a Veteran application at HonorFlightAustin.org
Priority is always given to World War II Veterans and Korean War Veterans, typically scheduled on the next available flights. Following those, spaces are available for Vietnam and Cold War Veterans. Matt adds, “There is rarely a flight that is not completely full.”