Program Takes Veterans To Memorial
For several years, a program in Ohio has been taking the state's World War II veterans on a special trip.
Honor Flight began in 2005 in Enon, and took its first flight of a dozen veterans to tour the World War II Memorial in Washington D-C. Since then it's expanded to more than 143 hubs in 42 states. Executive director Diane Gresse says she's seen a lot of healing take place during the tours.
Funding for Honor Flight comes from individual donors, corporations and organizations. Gresse says there are also volunteers who pay their own way and serve as guardians for the day.
Gresse says the goal is to help veterans see their memorial before it's too late. It's estimated that 600 World War II veteran die each day. The flights initially began with volunteer pilots with small planes, but now groups fly commercially or charter a small aircraft. There are eight hubs in Ohio including one at Port Columbus, and the one-day trips are provided at no cost to veterans. Many hubs are also expanding and offering trips to tour the Korean War Memorial.