Central and Southwest Virginia Honor Flight, one of the newest hubs of the Honor Flight Network, is gearing up to take veterans from our area to Washington D.C. free of charge beginning October 2018. Trips will depart from and return to at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia. The hub will be bringing area veterans to the war memorials created in their honor and will be the journey of a lifetime for many who were never properly thanked for their service.
Until now, veterans from our area have had to travel over 3 hours to either Winchester, Williamsburg, or Johnson City, Tennessee to take part in an Honor Flight trip.
World War II veteran Jim Warren, a Roanoke resident, described his April 2018 Honor Flight as a “life changing trip as it showed us that we are heroes regardless of our activity during the war. I am grateful to the [National Honor Flight] founders for what they have done for the thousands of veterans they have brought to DC to thank us for what we did.”
The Honor Flight Network began in 2005 to take World War II veterans to the National World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. at no cost to them. As of 2017, the network has escorted over 200,000 veterans to their memorials. Time is of the essence for our area WWII veterans. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, an estimated 640 WWII veterans die each day.
Each veteran is also accompanied by a trained volunteer guardian whose mission is to assist the veteran in any way they can—by pushing wheelchairs, carrying belongings, or simply joining in a day full of celebration and reflection. While veterans’ trip costs' are paid for in full, guardians are asked to make a donation of $400 to cover their trip costs. Guardian applications are screened and accepted on a first come first served basis.
The first trip, Friday, October 12 through Sunday, October 14, will prioritize WWII and terminally ill veterans, with Korean and Vietnam era veterans considered on a space available basis. To apply either as a veteran or a guardian or for more information, visit www.cswvirginiahonorflight.org.
Central and Southwest Virginia Honor Flight is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. Contributions are tax deductible.