Honor Flight Long Island holds veteran reunion
Honor Flight Long Island will hold a reunion on Aug. 10 at the American Airpower Museum in Farmingdale to celebrate local WWII and Korean War veterans who took a free, early-morning May 11, flight for a one-day tour of their Washington, D.C. military memorials. They also saw the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier and were greeted by officers from their respective branches. The heroes landed late that evening at Long Island MacArthur Airport to a raucous welcome by the Long Island Bagpipe and Drum Band and to thunderous applause from hundreds of family and friends.
Honor Flight Long Island (HFLI) is a local, nonprofit chapter of the national Honor Flight Network that organizes, hosts and pays for the biannual flights each spring and fall. As part of the day’s events, veterans and their guardians (volunteers who make the trips possible) fly to Baltimore-Washington International Airport, where a motor coach takes them to D.C. and the WWII, Korean and Vietnam memorials, to Arlington National Cemetery, Air Force, Navy and other memorials.
Each Honor Flight trip transports 50 veterans for free, thanks to donations from across Long Island. They are accompanied by 50 guardians, next generation, able-bodied volunteers who donate $400 (tax deductible) to offset costs. If there is no family member to act as a guardian, HFLI has a list of volunteers ready to step up for the privilege and donate the required fee.
The Gala Honor Flight Reunion will occur on Saturday, Aug. 10 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the American Airpower Museum, 1230 New Hwy., Farmingdale. Help applaud veterans during the Ceremony of Honors, as each is presented with their own Tribute Journal full of photographs taken during the May 11 D.C. tour. In addition, an official U.S. Military Band will play the iconic musical themes from each branch of service. The public, family and friends are invited to come early, to marvel at the museum’s fantastic exhibitions of military aircraft from WWII and beyond.
HFLI is now accepting applications for future flights from WWII, Korean and Vietnam War veterans. Veterans from other theaters of conflict with life-limiting illnesses are encouraged to apply for future flights. To apply for spots on upcoming flights or become a guardian, visit www.honorflightlongisland.org or contact Virginia Bennett, HFLI Secretary at 631-702-2423 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.