ManyU.S.veterans are unable to visitWashington,D.C., to see the national monuments that have been raised in their honor.
Honor FlightNevadaplans to change that.
Carol deGanahl of the Mesquite Republican Women (MRW) on May 16 announced during a press conference at the Mesquite Veterans’ Center onHafen Lanethe kickoff of the first Honor FlightNevadacoming up this summer for veterans.
The MRW has declared as its mission is to contact as many Nevada World War II and terminally ill veterans of the wars inIraqandAfghanistanas possible.
“If you know veterans or their family members, please let them know of this program,” deGanahl told the MLN.
DeGanahl added that Honor FlightNevada, part of the Honor Flight Network (HFN), will transport top-priority senior veterans, along with terminally ill veterans, toWashington,D.C., to visit the nation’s war memorials. Since 2005, HFN has transported more than 81,000 of the nation’s veterans from wars including World War II, the Korean War, andVietnamto thank them for all their sacrifices.
Veterans will visit the World War II memorial and theLincoln,Vietnam, Korean, andIwo Jimamemorials. A tour of theArlingtonNationalCemeteryis included where they will observe the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
Although the cost is of the trips averages about $110,000, but the veterans are not permitted to pay anything.
No expense is spared to give these heroes this opportunity to visit the memorials dedicated to them and their service toAmerica, deGanahl noted. Any special accommodation for their transportation comfort to the nation’s capital will be taken, “at no cost to the veterans.”
Honor FlightNevadafounder and chairman Jon Yuspa ofRenois employed by Southwest Airlines. He told the Reno Gazette-Journal on March 11, 2012, that Southwest Airlines already kicks in millions of dollars in airfare to get the veterans to the nation’s capital. And it offers the guardians who fly along “greatly reduced rates,” the newspaper reported, although Yuspa told the MLN many family members pay for their own flight and hotel accommodations.
DeGanahl said Yuspa volunteers to fly with veterans toWashington,D.C. She noted he saw the importance to honor American military veterans through the eyes of their family members who explained how their loved ones “opened up” after their trip about their service experiences.
“All of a sudden, they come to life and are sharing their stories,” Yuspa said. “That has been rich, because with that sharing comes a firsthand experience with history.”
Honor FlightNevadais part of Honor Flight Network, which is available through more than 100 hubs across the country actively working to provide veterans of their locales with a like opportunity. Honor Flight Network materials state, “Of all the wars in recent memory, it was World War II that truly threatened our very existence as a nation -- and as a culturally diverse, free society. Now, with over one thousand World War II veterans dying each day, our time to express our thanks to these brave men and women is running out.”
Of the local veterans deGanahl said how happy the MRW members are thatMesquite’s oldest, female World War II veteran, Anna Murphy, will be on this summer’s first Honor FlightNevada.
“She is very excited to be able to go,” deGanahl added.
Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization solely to honorAmerica’s veterans. It is an on-going program. The 2004 idea was conceived by Earl Morse, a physician’s assistant and a retired Air Force captain.
To apply online for Honor Flight Nevada, go to firstname.lastname@example.org or email Carol Klasen, President of Mesquite Republican Women, at email@example.com. An application can also be picked up at theMesquiteVeteransCenter at840 Hafen Lane or call 702-346-2735. Additional information is available at www.HonorFlightNV.org.
As part of the application process, the veteran’s application is added to the World War II Registry of Remembrances, which has an electronic data base on file for all veterans, including deceased veterans. Family members may file for their veteran and submit information (using 300 characters or less), listing service branch, years served, units, medals or ribbons, and a photo, if available. Registration is free. However, to receive a copy of the memorial is $5; with a photo it is $10. Any civilian who served on the home front, such as any real “Rosies the Riveter,” may also be listed on the registry. To view the registry, see www.wwiimemorial.com.