April 19th, 2017
Honor Flight Brings Veterans to Nation’s Capital
WWII Navy Veterans Walt Meyer (l) and Bill Charlap (r) chat a bit before boarding the flight from Stewart to Reagan National Airport.
NEW WINDSOR - Ninety WWII, Korean and Vietnam War veterans traveled to Washington, DC on April 8 to spend the day visiting the war memorials and several of the nation’s monuments.
Sponsored by the Hudson Valley Honor Flight (HVHF), a local chapter of the National Honor Flight Network, air transportation from Stewart International Airport to Reagan National Airport along with DC ground transportation, food and beverages were all provided for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine and Coast Guard veterans in an effort to honor their sacrifices and allow them to reflect at their respective memorials. The trip is cost-free for the veterans and a “guardian” – a family member or friend who accompanies each veteran.
The HVHF hosts four flights each year. Saturday’s flight was the non-profit organization’s fifteenth and 66 Korean War, 12 WWII and two Vietnam War veterans participated.
“It never gets old because of the smiles on the veterans’ faces,” said Beth Vought, executive director of HVHF.
“It was absolutely fabulous – one of the best days of my life,” said Army Air Corp WWII veteran Karnig Thomasin from Pompton Plains, NJ, who celebrated his 93rd birthday Saturday. “Everyone involved – from the volunteers to the drivers and airline folks – give so much of themselves to make this happen.”
HVHF serves veterans in Orange, Ulster, Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess and Sullivan Counties in New York, Pike County, PA, Bergen County, NJ, and Fairfield County, CT). Veterans from surrounding counties in New Jersey and Connecticut are considered as well. Generous donations from Shop Rite (who donated $150,00 to Saturday’s trip) and other sponsors help make the flights possible.
The next flight is scheduled for May 20, 2017 from Westchester County Airport. For more information or for a veteran’s application to attend a flight, log onto www.hvhonorflight.com.