Flight Report #8

DSC00979March 26 -28, 2013.  Honor Flight Southern Arizona sent off its first flight of 2013 – leaving on March 26th, and retuning on the 28th On board: 27 Veterans, 20 Guardians, and 2 Team Leaders

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 comes out to help us, the funding for these flights is made possible entirely through private donations.

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Honor Flight #8 included 7 sponsored Veterans:
Tucson Realtors Charitable Foundation sponsored L. Ellsworth.
Sierra Vista Lodge # 2065 BPOE sponsored T. Bourdon, J. Consiglio, and K. Dregseth.
Green Valley Roundtable Group sponsored D. Kershner.
VFW #6271 of Benson sponsored E.D. Reid.
Jewish Community Foundation, family and friends sponsored H. Kaye.

And a Special "Thank you" to Aaron Wilson, Larry Colby, Mike Hale, Ray Casper, and to the friends and family of Harold Kaye for getting these veterans sponsored.

Also making donations to the general fund for this flight:

Villages of Green Valley
NRA Southern Arizona FST
Military Order of the World Wars
Thornwood Motors, Inc. (New York)

Tucson Airport Authority
Green Valley Recreation, Inc.
American Legion Riders Post #36
Cactus Mariners of Arizona, Inc.
The Temp Connection, LLC.
309th AMARG Booster Club
The Leach Wilson Team

 DSC00994    Send Off - March 26th: Not scheduled to check-in until 4:00 AM, our first WWII veteran arrived just after 2:30AM!  Others followed and by the time check-in was scheduled to begin, everyone was already there.
After the National Anthem (sung by TSgt Edwards, DMAFB), the vets and their guardians headed to the security gate lead by the DM Base Color Guard. The DM Desert Lighting Team (at arms), the Arizona Patriot Guard Riders (and flags) plus all of the wonderful community supporters and volunteers formed a “parade route” for our WWII vets and guardians to walk in.  That is our traditional start to an Honor Flight – and something you will never forget as you watch these veterans begin to understand what this trip is all about.DSC01021

DSC01117Homecoming - March 28th:  There were close to 400 or so people waiting to greet our returning veterans, including Law enforcement and local Fire Departments, the D-M Desert Lightning team, Vail School District NJROTC, Arizona Patriot Guard Riders, Arizona Rangers, and Miss Arizona 2012 – Piper Stoeckel.  It just doesn't get any better than that.

DSC01141A special thanks to Dee Brunner for helping set up this alternate return path with the Tucson Airport Authority.  It was much easier for our veterans.

Thanks again to the southern Arizona organizations and business 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. Your generosity has enabled us to send 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.

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Thom Mansur
Honor Flight Volunteer