Honor Flight Southern Arizona flew two flights this Fall; one in September and one in October. Beginning about at about 0300, the veterans started to arrive at the Tucson International Airport. Then, with plenty of assistance from American Airlines and the Tucson Airport Authority, each passenger was mustered in with boarding passes, luggage tags, treated to some snacks and coffee, paired with their travel companions, treated to more coffee, sang the National Anthem, and started for the security gate - all within the first hour.
Forming a “parade”, the vets and their guardians headed to the security gate lead by the DM Base Color Guard, as SMSgt Herrera and the DM Desert Lighting Team (at arms), the Arizona Rangers, and the Arizona Patriot Guard Riders (with their enormous US flags) lining the parade route along with dozens of well-wishers and media. That is our traditional start to an Honor Flight – the veterans will tell you the rest of the story.
We would like to thank everyone involved, but that is nearly impossible with the fantastic patronage we receive from this community. In addition to everyone who came out to help us, the funding for these flights is made possible entirely through private donations. Specifically, there are several veterans that were “sponsored” by organizations, and donors, and we would like to recognize some of these special folks.
Honor Flight #6
September 18-20, 2012
On board: 27 Veterans, 20 Guardians, and 2 Team Leaders
Tucson Rotary Sunrise sponsored one veteran (from list)
Sierra Vista Lodge # 2065 BPOE sponsored five veterans (J. Fraser, R. Roberts, F. Thompson, H. Walker, and A. Waller)
Green Valley Lions Club sponsored one veteran (from list)
Saddlebrooke Rotary Club sponsored two veterans (from list)
Honor Flight #7
October 16-18, 2012
On board: 27 Veterans, 22 Guardians, and 2 Team Leaders
Rincon Rotary Club of Tucson sponsored one veteran (R. Lehr)
Sierra Vista Lodge # 2065 BPOE sponsored three veterans (D. Meier, J. Eaton and H. Himes)
United States Seagoing Marine Association sponsored one veteran (USMC)
A private donor sponsored the oldest veteran on our waiting list. (S. Walgren)
Rotary Club of Saddlebrooke sponsored two veterans (from list)
Catalina Mountain Elks Lodge #2815 and American Legion Post 132 of Oro Valley sponsored one veteran (P. Fields)
Also making donations to the general fund for the two Fall flights:
Pantano Rotary Club
La Canoa Lions Club
Local Union 420 IBEW
American Legion Auxiliary - Green Valley #66
American Legion Post 132
Bass & Associates, PC
Tucson Airport Authority
Seniors Helping Seniors
Thanks again to these southern Arizona organizations and businesses for your help in getting our veterans to Washington DC. We would also like to express our sincere thanks to everyone who has made a donation to Honor Flight Southern Arizona this year. Because of your generosity, we have been given the privilege of sending these vets on their well-deserved trip. And also, we cannot forget the amazing volunteers of Honor Flight Southern Arizona who make these events and fundraisers happen. What a special group of people - all working together for a common goal.