Hudson Valley Honor Flight seeks veterans for spring flights Two flights are planned, April 14 and May 19
(Hudson Valley Honor Flight: hvhonorflight.com)
WALDEN — Hudson Valley Honor Flight seeking veterans for spring flights to tour national war memorials in Washington, D.C., at no cost to the veterans. The nonprofit organization serves veterans from Pike County, Pa.; Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, Westchester, Rockland, Sullivan and Putnam counties in New York; Bergen County, N.J.; and Fairfield County, Connecticut. Veterans from other surrounding counties are also always considered. “We are looking forward to taking these great men and women who served our nation with such distinction to Washington, D.C.,” said Board Chair Frank Kimler. “It’s an honor for us, and those who support Hudson Valley Honor Flight, to give them this gift of seeing the war memorials to honor their service. If you know a veteran who served in the World War II or the Korean war era, let them know of this opportunity to see these wonderful monuments which honor their service.” Hudson Valley Honor Flight’s two spring flight dates are April 14 — dubbed Mission 19 — from Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, and May 19 — Mission 20 — from Westchester County Airport in White Plains. Officials are spreading the word now, with the expectation that more World War II and Korean War veterans will want to participate in these spring flights. Veterans who served their nation during this era but might not have served in either war are welcome to apply. Veterans who served before Jan. 31, 1955, are eligible to participate. Each veteran is accompanied by a volunteer personal “guardian” responsible for ensuring that the veteran’s trip is a memorable one. Guardians are responsible for covering the cost of their own trip. “We know there are fewer and fewer eligible men and women from this time in our nation’s history still here with us,” said Executive Director Jennifer DeFrancesco. “Time and time again, the very worthy veterans who have flown with us have told us that participating in an Honor Flight is among the most meaningful experiences they have had. Their families say the same thing.” Hudson Valley Honor Flight is also a local hub of the National Honor Flight Network, which has more than 100 independent non-profit “hubs” nationwide. Since its onset, Hudson Valley Honor Flight has taken approximately 1,400 veterans to Washington, D.C., through the generosity of sponsors like ShopRite. Thus far, many thousands of people are estimated to have been involved with Honor Flight either as guardians or to send off veterans when they depart or welcome them upon their return. Top priority is given to those of the Greatest Generation, that of World War II, and terminally ill veterans from other wars. The Honor Flight plans to take all vetera ns from other wars on future flights. Applications are kept on file. For more information, visit hvhonorflight.com.