Honor Flight #11 – Catch the Fever
On October 6th, 77 WWII Veterans along with 64 guardians, 5 team leaders, and a KOLD film crew flew out of Tucson on the first ever “Charter Flight”. Despite government shut-down, and some heavy rains, the trip was a huge success. Upon their return, over 1200 folks showed up at the airport for the biggest welcome home ever!
The name “Catch the Fever” comes to us from real estate broker, Aaron Wilson (Retired MSgt. USAF). While serving in Afghanistan with the Combat Search and Rescue unit, their supply aircraft was a C-130 whose call sign was “the Fever”. Anyone needing anything needed to “catch the Fever” before it departed. Honor Flight liked the expression, hoping all of Southern Arizona would “Catch the Fever”. A large portion of the funding for this flight came from Aaron’s work fundraising for us. His connections in this community, with Keller Williams Realty, his AZZ Hurts Cycling Team, his “gofundme.com” web site, and so many other organizations and partnerships – really got this flight in the air. Thanks Aaron!
Honor Flight #11 included 2 sponsored Veterans:
Sierra Vista Lodge # 2065 BPOE sponsored D. Newcomer (USA-SC), and H. Hinkley (USN).
The following organizations sponsored veterans from our waiting list:
DM Top 3 Association sponsored B. Yescheck, (USAAC), (and his guardian, Sgt. D. Wilcken).
American Legion District 2 sponsored E. Lubinsky (USA).
Posada Java Café sponsored C. McConnell (USA), R. Rose (USN), and R. Stegman (USA).
American Legion Post 66 and Green Valley Lions Club combined to sponsor R. Hamilton (USA).
CEMEX (Tucson) sponsored C. Martinez (USA), and C. Wohlleb (USN).
American Legion Post 109 sponsored M. Jones (USN), and G. Williams (USA).
And individual private donors sponsored J. Britt (USA), C. Kalkbrenner (USN), D. Randall (USN) and R. Sims (USA).
In addition, the following businesses and organizations made donations to the general fund for this flight:
Honor Flight Network
Tucson Airport Authority
Far Horizons Tucson Village
USS Willard Keith Reunion Foundation
The Arizona Aerospace Foundation
Law Office of David Kovalik
Lenihan Law Firm
Farmers Investment Company
J. Ray Rokey, DDS
Antiques, Collectibles, and Treasures
Stewart Title & Trust of Tucson
The Joshua Berkley Team (Keller Williams)
Nova Financial & Investment Corp.
Arena Financial Company
Pottinger Ventures, LLC
Get It Ready, LLC
Bluebonnet Growth Partners
Joann M. Hanna, Inc.
Twilight Wish Foundation - Arizona Chapter
Advantage Solutions Group
Tortuga Heating & Cooling, LLC
Details Done By Kris, Inc.
Kelly D. Garcia PLLC
923 AMXS / 55th HMU
Vantage West Credit Union
NY Pizza Dept.
Ladies Auxiliary VFW Post 4716
Charles B. Kentnor Real Estate
Creative Juice Inc.
Oro Valley United Church of Christ (Letters)
I would like to give a special thanks to Incident Cmdr. Dee Brunner, Viki Matthews and everyone at the TAA for overall coordination with our group and for setting up such a large send-off and welcome home. Also a special thanks to Perry Schieb, Leisa Heald and Teresa Pisano with US Airways for their spirited cooperation with the Honor Flight Program.
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.
Graham L. Marsh, USA