Honor Flight Long Island (HFLI), the iconic volunteer-run Veterans’ organization, is proud to announce resumption of bi-annual flights to Washington, D.C., after two years of pandemic-related restrictions.
HFLI’s second and final flight of 2022, on Friday, Sept. 23, will take WWII, Korean and Vietnam War Veterans to visit their military memorials, meet with service branch representatives, commiserate with fellow Veterans and exchange stories.
Honor Flight’s mission is to honor fellow Long Islanders who served in the Armed Forces of the United States and to preserve freedom around the world, by providing free, one-day D.C. trips for Veterans.
Thanks to HFLI, these Veterans will take a free, early-morning Southwest flight to Washington, D.C. Departing from Islip MacArthur Airport at 8:20 a.m., Veterans will visit the WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War Memorials, plus Arlington National Cemetery, the Air Force and Navy Memorials and other high-points. They return to Islip later that evening at 10:50 p.m. for a rousing welcome by the Saffron United Pipe Band plus thunderous applause from hundreds of family and supporters.
“This special flight includes one WWII, 22 Korean War and 27 Vietnam War Veterans, who will receive recognition and thanks for their service,” Bill Jones, HFLI president, West Point 1972 graduate and U.S. Army Veteran said. “What this really represents is a ‘Big Hug’ to all our Veterans from HFLI, their families and supporters who make such flights possible.”
Jones added that HFLI will always give priority to any WWII Veterans who wish to go, and that HFLI is currently accepting applications from WWII, Korean and Vietnam Veterans, who he encourages to sign up.
Veterans, it’s important to submit an application at www.honorflightlongisland.org, as that will insure your placement on the HFLI list. Veterans fly for free, thanks to donations from across Long Island. They are accompanied by guardians, able-bodied volunteers who donate $400 (tax deductible) to offset travel costs. If there is no family member to act as a guardian, HFLI has volunteers ready to step up for the privilege of escorting these heroes to their memorials.
Questions can be answered by calling Jamie Bowden at (631) 702-2423 or email Jamie at JBowden@southamptontownny.gov.
The Korean War Memorial, under renovation for the past couple of years, was rededicated on July 29, 2022 with a new feature – a “Wall of Remembrance” – that lists the names of over 43,000 U.S. service members and Korean augmentees to the U.S. Army who were killed during the war. It’s an impressive and moving memorial.
One inscription reads “Freedom is Not Free.” Another reads: “Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met.” Americans always answer the call.
Special Note: The reunion for this flight will be held at the American Airpower Museum in Farmingdale on Dec. 3, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
About Honor Flight Network
The Honor Flight Network was formed in 2005 with a mission of honoring our nation’s World War II Veterans by flying them to visit the Washington, D.C. WWII Memorial dedicated in 2004. The Honor Flight Network is currently comprised of more than 130 hubs throughout the country dedicated to carrying out the Honor Flight mission. In addition to WWII Veterans, the organization now transports those who served in the Korean War, Vietnam War, later conflicts and in special cases of terminal illness or injury. Since 2005, the Honor Flight Network has taken more than 250,000 Veterans to Washington, D.C.
For more information, visit honorflight.org.