Classic 1965 Ford Mustang Pony Raffle!
La Crosse Valley View Rotary's Classic Car Raffle
5:30–8 pm. Friday, October 5
531 Theatre Road, Onalaska
Join us for a silent auction, cash giveaways plus a drawing for a 1965 Ford Mustang Pony! Beneficiaries include Freedom Honor Flight, Operation Homefront and the Boys and Girls Club.
Freedom Honor Flight Car, Truck, Motorcycle, or Anything Show
Winona Elks Lodge #327
Noon to 3 pm. Sunday, October 7
4540 Service Drive,
Also featuring a Spaghetti Dinner, 11 am 'til gone
Flight #10 will take place on Saturday, September 22. The flight will be sponsored by longtime supporter, American Legion Post 100 out of Sparta, Wisconsin. Veterans and guardians assigned to this flight have been notified. The public is welcome to attend the 6 am send-off and 9:30 pm welcome home ceremonies.
Flight 10 Orientation
Veterans and guardians assigned to Flight 10 should attend the Orientation Session on Sunday, September 9. Guardians report at noon and veterans at 2 pm to American Legion Post 52, 6th and Market Streets, La Crosse.
Flight #10 will take place on Saturday, September 22. The flight will be sponsored by longtime supporter, American Legion Post 100 out of Sparta, Wisconsin. Post 100 has raised significant funds in support of Freedom Honor Flight through the 500 Club and their annual Vegas Night.
The ninth flight will take place on Saturday, May 12. This flight will be the third sponsored by Kwik Trip in as many years. Because the flight is being funded largely through this customer-supported fundraising campaign, the flight is named the "Kwik Trip Customer Honor Flight."
As another successful year of Freedom Honor Flight winds down, the start of another will soon begin. Although the next flight is not for several months, it is important to remember that we rely on year-round fundraisers and donations to complete our mission. There are few gifts more satisfying than sending a veteran to see the memorials that stand in his or her honor. Next year’s flights will need your support, so please keep our veterans in mind throughout the holiday and year-end season and donate today.
Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser
National Mutual Benefit Branch 927 invites you to a spaghetti dinner to benefit Freedom Honor Flight. Event will be held on Sunday, October 30 at Dunn County Fish and Game, 1600 Pine Avenue East, Menomonie, Wisconsin. Dinner includes spaghetti, salad, garlic toast, beverages, and dessert. $7 per person, children under 5 eat free. National Mutual Benefit will match up to $2,500 of funds raised at the event, so come show support!
Classic Car Raffle Party
A 1977 Corvette will be auctioned off for this year’s Classic Car Raffle Party on Friday, October 21 in the La Crosse Center North Hall. Proceeds will go to a number of local organizations, including Freedom Honor Flight. There will also be food and beverages provided, as well as a number of other items being auctioned off. Silent auction begins at 6 pm, with the Corvette winner announced at 7:30 pm by a veteran from the last Freedom Honor Flight. Come show your support and drive away in a Corvette!
Car, Truck, or Anything Show
Winona Elks Lodge #327 is holding a "Car, Truck or Anything Show" on October 2, 2011 to raise proceeds for Freedom Honor Flight. The fundraiser is from 12–3 pm in the Elks parking lot, located at 4540 Service Drive in Goodview, Minnesota. Admission is $5. Brats and hot dogs will also be sold. Come check out some cool cars, eat some fantastic food and show support for Freedom Honor Flight!
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Oktoberfest USA Freedom Honor Flight fundraiser
A new Oktoberfest tradition! The Sons of the American Legion, Post 52,
La Crosse, will be serving an Oktoberfest breakfast on Friday, September 23 for $7. Serving begins at 6 am. Then at 7:30 am they will be cutting the "Golden Brat." $1 from each breakfast will be donated to Freedom Honor Flight.
Kwik Trip Freedom Honor Flight another successful mission
On May 14, 2011, Freedom Honor Flight transported a full Southwest Airlines 737 to Washington D.C. on their seventh trip taking veterans to see the memorials that stand in their honor. The organization thanks everyone who helped make the flight possible, including the flight sponsor, Kwik Trip.
See full coverage of the May 14 Freedom Honor Flight
La Crosse Tribune
Onalaska Holmen Courier-Life
Houston County News
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Festival Brat Barn
Festival Foods' Brat Barn fundraiser held on May 14–15 raised more than $4,000--enough to send 8 veterans on a flight! Thank you to Festival and the other supporters including Sara Lee, Bakalars, Old Wisconsin, Coca-Cola. Volunteers included La Crosse Area Boy Scouts, Operation Homefront and Festival Food associates.
UW-La Crosse Track & Field Teams
This group raised $2,515 for Freedom Honor Flight in support of our veterans. Pledges were made on the basis of points scored by the men’s and women’s team at their home competition, the Esten Challenge on April 15. Team members were thanked in person as part of the May 14 Freedom Honor Flight ceremony. Thank you UW-La Crosse Eagles!
Freedom Honor Flight announces our next flight will be held on May 14, 2011
Thanks to the generous support of Kwik Trip, this flight will be the second in as many years to be named a "Kwik Trip Honor Flight." Veterans for the May 14 flight will be selected from our list of applications already on file. Those veterans and guardians assigned to the May flight will be notified sometime in March.
WWII veterans who have not yet applied to Freedom Honor Flight are encouraged to do so to be placed on the waiting list for future flights.
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Logistics Health Flight was anHonor
Veteran Bob Selbrede recaps his service days and how much being on board the June 19 flight meant to him. Read full story here
Veterans arrive home
See WKBT Channel 8's coverage of the June 19 Logistics Health Freedom Honor Flight. Read full story here
Sixth flight on September 18
Freedom Honor Flight¹s sixth mission accommodates increasing numbers of physical challenges
LA CROSSE, Wis., September 15, 2010-Saturday¹s flight to Washington D.C. will honor 104 veterans by transporting them to see their war memorials. Coordinating this flight required more preparation and equipment to assist the World War II veterans than other flights, a trend organizers expect to continue. The youngest World War II veterans are in their mid-eighties.
On Saturday, 40 veterans will be using wheelchairs, six will require portable oxygen. A fourth bus was added to the Washington D.C. plans to accommodate the extra mobility issues. Each of the four buses is equipped with a wheelchair lift.
Any of the usual issues you see in an older population can and do come up, notes Kevin Kuchar, paramedic and volunteer director of medical services for each flight. The four paramedics and two physicians of the medical crew are available to assist any member of the flight as needed. Assistance may include helping with a blood sugar check, portable oxygen or getting in and out of wheelchairs. Volunteer guardians who accompany the veterans received special training.
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Freedom Honor Flight vice president of operations Cheryl Higgins hopes veterans who have hesitated to apply due to physical limitations will reconsider, "We will do everything we can to comfortably accommodate them and make their trip very special."
Organizers are able to provide the aircraft, buses, wheelchairs, oxygen and all other accommodations through the generous donations of individuals and businesses. The group receives no government funding. Supporters can visit www.freedomhonorflight.org to donate online.
The public is invited to attend the welcome home ceremony Saturday evening at Colgan Air hangar, east of the La Crosse Municipal Airport. Families and friends can also monitor the day¹s activities through Facebook at Freedom Honor Flight.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 ITINERARY
A presentation and color guard salute will begin at 6:15 a.m. Saturday, September 18, at the Colgan Air hangar across from the La Crosse municipal airport. Parking is free. Shuttles driven by ROTC members to and from parking lots will be available. Take-off for the Sun Country Boeing 737 will be between 6:45 and 7:15 a.m.
WHILE IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
Veterans, guardians and medical crew will be transported on deluxe tour busses from the Washington Dulles International Airport to the World War II Memorial, where veterans will be honored with a ceremony and participate in a memorial for those who died during and since World War II. Veterans will have the opportunity to visit other memorials, including the Vietnam Veteran Memorial, Korean War Memorial and others.
WELCOME HOME CEREMONY
The welcome home ceremony will begin with entertainment from the Onalaska High School Band at 9:30 p.m. The La Crosse Skyrockers provide a fireworks display for the returning veterans. Officials expect a large crowd of people to gather and greet the veterans upon their return. Family, friends, supporters and the public are encouraged to arrive between 9 and 9:30 pm. Parking is free. Shuttles driven by ROTC members to and from parking lots will be available.
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Gunslick Trap Club shooting for Freedom Honor Flight
LA CROSSE, Wis. - May 10, 2010 - The Gunslick Trap Club in Holmen will have 100 bird shoot from 9 am through 2 pm, Sunday, May 23. Proceeds from food and raffle sales will go to Freedom Honor Flight.
The Flurry Shoot will be held all day long. It is the fastest paced game of the clay sports and sure to entertain viewers. There are 50 to 75 targets per minute flying overhead with two or three shooters ready to fire.
Lunch and beverages provided by Train Station BBQ will be served on the grounds throughout the day. With plenty of shooters to entertain, spectators can enjoy the event in support the Freedom Honor Flight.
Gunslick Trap Club is located at N6700 Briggs Rd. in Holmen. The public is invited to join in the excitement of the games with proceeds benefiting Freedom Honor Flight.
Gunslick Trap Club
FREEDOM HONOR FLIGHT ANNOUNCES LOGISTICS HEALTH TO SPONSOR NEXT MISSION
March 24, 2010, La Crosse, Wis.
Freedom Honor Flight will hold its fifth mission on June 19, 2010. The flight will transport 100 veterans, 50 volunteer guardians plus a volunteer medical crew to Washington, D.C. to allow the veterans to see the memorials that stand in their honor.
Making this flight possible is a generous donation by Logistics Health. At a joint news conference today, Freedom Honor Flight officials accepted a check from Logistics Health Chairman and CEO, Don Weber. The flight will be known as the Logistics Health Freedom Honor Flight.
Veterans and guardians assigned to the June 19 Logistics Health Freedom Honor Flight will be notified by officials by the end of April.
With the June flight, Freedom Honor Flight will have taken more than 500 area World War II veterans to Washington, D.C. After the June flight, 300 World War II veterans are expected to be on the waiting list. The youngest World War II veterans are in their eighties.
People who wish to support Freedom Honor Flight can donate online at www.freedomhonorflight.org.
Veterans who wish to participate and guardians who wish to volunteer (guardians pay $500) can apply on the web site or at local veterans' organizations.
Casino Night fundraiser for Freedom Honor Flight to be part of Onalaska Community Fun Day
La Crosse, Wis., April 21, 2010- Onalaska Community Fun Day on Saturday, May 15 will include Casino Night at the Onalaska American Legion starting at 6:30 pm.
Casino Night will feature games including poker, black jack and more. Tickets for this event can be purchased at the Legion Post for $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Proceeds will be donated to Freedom Honor Flight.
Onalaska Community Fun Day is presented by the Onalaska Jaycees, Rotary, Lions Club and American Legion.
Freedom Honor Flight provides opportunities for veterans to fly free of charge to Washington D.C. to visit the memorials that stand in their honor. The next Freedom Honor Flight missions take off May 8 and June 20. All veterans and guardians assigned to these flights have been notified. The flights are funded completely by donations. To make a donation visit www.freedomhonorflight.org.
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Annual Spring Fling Dance featuring Studebaker 7 to benefit Freedom Honor Flight
LA CROSSE, Wis., April 9, 2010- This year's Spring Fling Dance will be held Saturday, May 1 with all proceeds going to Freedom Honor Flight.
The event is being held at Boot Hill Dock 7 located at 1501 Andrews St., La Crosse, former site of the La Crosse Rubber Mills. The dance is from 7 to 11 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. Studebaker 7 plays hits from the '60s and '70s.
Studebaker 7 spokesperson Bill Abraham said "We've been looking for a good way to support Freedom Honor Flight. The Spring Fling Dance will be one week before the May 8 flight, so money raised will have an immediate impact.
Freedom Honor Flight is a La Crosse-based organization which flies veterans to Washington DC to visit their memorials. For more information on Freedom Honor Flight or to view a list of upcoming events, visit: www.freedomhonorflight.org.
Tickets for the Spring Fling Dance are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Boot Hill Pub and the American Legion Posts in La Crosse and Onalaska.
Training for May 8 Kwik Trip Freedom Honor Flight to be held Sunday, April 25
LA CROSSE, Wis., April 21, 2010-- Before each mission of Freedom Honor Flight, organizers provide an opportunity for veterans, volunteer guardians, medical crew and TSA members to meet and prepare for flight day. As the May 8 Kwik Trip Freedom Honor Flight nears, the training is set for Sunday, April 25, at the American Legion Post 52 at Sixth and Market Streets, La Crosse. Guardians meet at noon, veterans at 2pm.
Training event activities include presentations on what passengers should and shouldn't pack for the flight, a review of the May 8 itinerary, medical and comfort care plans, and activities for family members including the morning send-off and evening welcome home events. There is also ample time for questions and answers.
The training event also provides an opportunity for the volunteer guardians to meet the veterans they have been assigned to accompany on the flight. Commemorative photos are taken of the guardian and veteran groups and flight day shirts are distributed.
Freedom Honor Flight president Chuck Hanson said "This is not only a time to prepare the group for the trip, but our first opportunity to meet them and thank them for their service."
The May 8 flight is the fourth mission of Freedom Honor Flight, a La Crosse-based organization which flies veterans to Washington DC to visit their memorials. This flight is sponsored by Kwik Trip Stores through a generous donation. Kwik Trip employees have also donated many hours in helping to coordinate the May 8 flight. Officials and volunteers from Kwik Trip will be at the training event and will help with the May 8 Kwik Trip Freedom Honor Flight mission.
Veterans and guardians assigned to both the May 8 and June 20 flights have been notified. After the June 20 flight, officials estimate more than 250 veterans will still be on the waiting list. Donations are needed to ensure further flights can be held. For more information on Freedom Honor Flight or to donate, visit: www.freedomhonorflight.org
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Freedom Honor Flight announces Kwik Trip to sponsor next mission
Freedom Honor Flight will hold its fourth mission on May 8, 2010. The flight will transport 100 veterans, 50 volunteer guardians plus a volunteer medical crew to Washington DC to allow the veterans to see the memorials that stand in their honor.
Making this flight possible is a generous donation by Kwik Trip, Inc. At a joint news conference today, Freedom Honor Flight officials accepted a check from Kwik Trip, Inc. The flight will be known as the Kwik Trip Freedom Honor Flight.
Veterans and guardians assigned to the May 8 Kwik Trip Freedom Honor Flight will be notified by officials by March 15.
With the May flight, Freedom Honor Flight will have taken more than 400 area WWII veterans to Washington DC. After the May flight, there will still be more than 300 WWII veterans remaining on the waiting list. The youngest WWII veterans are in their eighties.
To help ensure each veteran on the waiting list, plus others who apply in the future, are able to participate in an Honor Flight, Kwik Trip, Tobacco Outlet, Hearty Platter and Kwik Star stores in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin will serve as collection sites for donations during a special fundraising effort held February 12 to 25.
Money raised through the Kwik Trip, Inc. fundraiser will benefit the hub that serves the area in which the store is located. Freedom Honor Flight, based in La Crosse, serves veterans in 20 counties in western Wisconsin, southeast Minnesota and northern Iowa. Other hubs receiving donations from Kwik Trip stores in their areas are Stars & Stripes Honor Flight out of Milwaukee, Old Glory Honor Flight out of Appleton, Never Forgotten Honor Flight out of Wausau, Badger Honor Flight out of Madison and other hubs in Iowa and Minnesota not covered by Freedom Honor Flight.
People who wish to support Freedom Honor Flight can donate at their local Kwik Trip, Tobacco Outlet, Hearty Platter and Kwik Star stores during the fundraising campaign, February 12 to 25, or anytime online at www.freedomhonorflight.org.
Veterans who wish to participate and guardians who wish to volunteer (guardians pay $500 for their travel expenses) can apply on the website or at local veterans' organizations.
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Sparta area veterans on second flight treated like royalty
Fourteen World War II veterans from the Sparta area let freedom ring as participants on the second Freedom Honor Flight.
Of the more than 500 applications on file from veterans in our area, a total of 100 veterans made the June 20 trip. Participants from Sparta, Tomah and Norwalk included Fred Steeves, Alvin Gamble, Laurel Schilhable, Olga Christianson John Johnson, Francis Vancil, Myron Schwarz, Homer Stark, Einar Olson, George Lundy, Russell Helgren, Vernel Dunnum, Lynn Nichols and Edward Muellenberg.
About 2.5 million WWII veterans are still living. In 2009, the national Honor Flight Network plans to transport 25,000 veterans to their memorials. Myron Schwarz, a passenger on the June 20 flight said, "I've seen many pictures of the memorial, but seeing the real thing was something else. We were treated like celebrities!"
The veterans were accompanied by volunteer guardians who paid their own way (about $500) and attended a training session. An all-volunteer medical team also accompanied the veterans.
Schwarz's daughter Gail Raddatz said, "I had the honor of being a guardian for my father. Everywhere we went the WWII veterans were treated like royalty! Many people asked to have pictures taken with our veterans."
Myron said, "Our return to La Crosse was tremendous, with fireworks, bands and flags a-waving; the works!"
A third flight is planned for October 10, 2009. You can support future flights and the many veterans who have not yet had a chance to make the journey by donating online or by remembering Freedom Honor Flight in your will or living trust. Local residents helped send these veterans through a successful "Vegas Night" fundraiser held at the Sparta American Legion this past April. Mark your calendars for next year's Vegas Night fundraiser on April 3, 2010, at the Sparta American Legion.
With the help of individuals and businesses in our community, we can support the effort for many more veterans to be honored.
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Freedom Honor Flight sets June 20, 2009 for second missio
Freedom Honor Flight announces they have scheduled their second flight to transport area veterans to Washington D.C. to visit the WWII and other national memorials. The one-day flight will depart from and return to La Crosse on Saturday, June 20, 2009. Holding the flight during Airfest 2009 will allow more people to share this experience with the veterans and their families.
Freedom Honor Flight has more than 450 veteran applications on file. Approximately 100 of those veterans will be on the June 20 flight. Veterans are selected for the flight on a first-come, first-served basis from applications received by the organization. Priority is given to WWII veterans and any veteran with a terminal illness. Those who are selected for the June 20 flight will be notified by the organization in the weeks to come.
Freedom Honor Flight hopes to raise enough funds and community support to continue to coordinate honor flights. The group hopes to hold a third flight in October 2009. Freedom Honor Flight receives no government support and depends entirely on donations. Donations can be made at the group's website www.freedomhonorflight.org.
Volunteer guardians are needed to assist veterans on the flights. Guardians pay their own way on the flights, approximately $500, and attend a special training session. Applications for guardians and veterans are available at www.freedomhonorflight.org.
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Freedom Honor Flight's first mission is successful on all counts
Freedom honor Flight, the first Wisconsin hub of the national Honor Flight Network, conducted its first flight on October 8, 2008. With 113 Veterans and 58 Guardians aboard the chartered 757 aircraft, it was the first Honor Flight from Wisconsin, and one of the larger single flights in the national program's history.
The day began early, with some veterans arriving at the Colgan Air Service hangar, across from the La Crosse Municipal Airport, before 5 a.m. National Guard and UW-La Crosse ROTC members provided valet parking and golf cart shuttles for veterans and the family members who came to see them off. The veterans checked in and were united with their guardians. These specially trained volunteers, who each paid their own way for the honor of accompanying the veterans, were with the veterans for the entire day.
The morning send off ceremony included an ecumenical prayer, a Marine Corps Color Guard, a children's concert by the Northwoods Elementary School choir, a continental breakfast and decorations from multiple schools in La Crosse. The French Island Legion hosted a breakfast for family and volunteers after the jet departed.
The Honor Flight arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport to a water cannon salute. Veterans moved directly to chartered buses that took them to the WWII memorial. The veterans toured that memorial, plus the Korean and Vietnam War memorials and the Iwo Jima memorial. Veterans from nine states were represented in Washington D.C., bringing close to 1,000 veterans to the memorials in one day. Freedom Honor Flight was the largest group that day and the largest in the program's history.
When the veterans returned to La Crosse late that evening, they were greeted by a large flag-waving crowd and the performing UW-La Crosse Screaming Eagles Marching Band. Veterans from the trip spoke of the day as being "absolutely wonderful" and "the trip of a lifetime."
A second flight is planned for June 2009 and donations are needed to ensure as many veterans as possible are able to go. The group receives no government funding and depends on donations, which are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Veterans who wish to apply may contact their local veterans association, call 608-784-1015 or complete the application form on this website. People wishing to volunteer or apply to be a trained guardian to accompany the veterans on the flight can find more information on this website or call 608-784-1015. And people who wish to donate may do so directly on this page.
Freedom Honor Flight exists to fly veterans, for free, to Washington D.C. to see "their" memorials. Currently, priority is given to World War II veterans, because of their advanced age, and because so many of them have never had a chance to see the WWII Memorial, which was opened in April of 2004. Veterans are selected on a first come, first served basis with priority given to WWII veterans and any veteran with a terminal illness.
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Freedom Honor Flight has now selected the veterans and guardians for our second flight on June 20. Those people have been notified. The remaining veteran who have submitted applications will be considered for our next flight, tentatively planned for fall 2009. Veterans are selected on a first come, first served basis with priority given to WWII veterans and any veteran with a terminal illness.
We thank the many people who have contributed time or money so far – and we hope to get even more support for many successful missions!
NOTE: Milwaukee now has its own Honor Flight organization – called Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. Their web page is here:
Madison is also forming an Honor Flight organization, and information about them will be posted in the near future.
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Interest so high, support is needed for additional flights—Kwik Trip makes donating even easier
La Crosse, Wis., September 8, 2008
Kwik Trip stores within 100 miles of La Crosse, are now collection sites for Freedom Honor Flight donations. The donations collected will help fund the organization's flights that take veterans to visit their memorials in Washington D.C.
On October 8, the first Honor Flight from the state of Wisconsin, will transport 110 veterans, 55 guardians, two physicians from Franciscan Skemp and Gundersen Lutheran medical centers and four paramedics from Tri-State Ambulance. The veterans and guardians for the first flight have been selected and have been notified.
Freedom Honor Flight has received over 300 applications from veterans and has begun planning a second flight, scheduled for June. Volunteer guardians, who pay their own way on the flights, are still needed for the second flight. Applications are available at the groups' website, www.freedomhonorflight.org.
Donations from the public, made at Kwik Trip stores or online at www.freedomhonorflight.org will help ensure that Freedom Honor Flight is able to meet the needs of all veterans who apply.
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Freedom Honor Flight Taking Off With Community
La Crosse, Wis., August 4, 2008
Members of the La Crosse community are rallying to support the cause of Freedom Honor Flight, Inc., an organization dedicated to honoring veterans of World War II.
In mid July, Freedom Honor Flight, Inc. announced a program to send veterans to Washington D.C. to visit their memorials. The first flight is scheduled to leave from La Crosse on Wednesday, October 8, 2008.
Only three weeks after the announcement, the group has raised over $50,000. Many area businesses and individuals have chosen to sponsor a veteran by donating $500, the cost of sending one veteran to Washington D.C. Some donors have sponsored groups or "platoons" of veterans. Contributions so far have allowed the group to sign the contract for the flight and move forward with other arrangements.
A medical team dedicated to ensuring the safety of the veterans has been assembled. The team will consist of two physicians from Franciscan Skemp and Gundersen Lutheran medical centers and four paramedics from Tri-State Ambulance. The expense to send the medical team is being covered by the medical centers and Tri-State Ambulance.
A large number of applications have been received from veterans as well as guardians who will pay their own way to accompany two veterans each on the flight. Guardians are required to attend training sessions to prepare them for the trip. Applications for both veterans and guardians are currently being accepted. The selection of veterans is made on a first come, first-served basis with priority given to WWII veterans and any veteran with a terminal illness. Due to the number of veteran applications, Freedom Honor Flight has begun planning for its second flight.
Although Freedom Honor Flight has received many generous donations, they still need further donations to make the first flight on October 8 a success. To make donating easier, contributions of any size can now be made online at www.freedomhonorflight.org.
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Additional information can be found on the group's website or by calling 608-784-1015.
About Freedom Honor Flight, Inc.
Freedom Honor Flight is the first Wisconsin affiliate of the national network of Honor Flight organizations. The group's mission is to organize and fly groups of veterans—at no cost to the veterans—to Washington D.C. to visit the war memorials that stand in their honor. Freedom Honor Flight serves veterans within a 120-mile radius of La Crosse, covering Western Wisconsin, Southeastern Minnesota and Northern Iowa. The group receives no government funding and depends on donations, which are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.
Freedom Honor Flight Announces Inaugural Mission
July 15 – La Crosse, WI
Officials of Freedom Honor Flight, Inc. today announced an ambitious program of honoring and thanking the region's oldest veterans – the veterans of World War II.
Freedom Honor Flight is a La Crosse-based organization whose goal is to organize groups of veterans to travel to see their memorial – the WWII Memorial – in Washington D.C. The Veterans travel at no cost to themselves. Chuck Hanson, Freedom Honor Flight President, announced the local charity has scheduled its inaugural mission to leave La Crosse on Wednesday, October 8, 2008.
"This is an unusual situation," Hanson said. "These veterans have not been able to see their memorial, because it took nearly 60 years after the end of the war to build it. Our goal is to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for these men and women to see the edifice memorializing their service to our country. We will work with all veterans within 120 miles of La Crosse in providing this travel."
The Commander of the Wisconsin Department of the American Legion joined local officials of the group, to present a check as well as praise their efforts to pay tribute to the veterans. David Kurtz also made an appearance at a special La Crosse Loggers baseball game against a travelling military all-star team to support the Freedom Honor Flight project.
Freedom Honor Flight provides volunteers, called Guardians, who pay their way on the airplane flight. These guardians will accompany the veterans, helping them enjoy the one day trip. Hanson explained that Guardians are being recruited as the group organizes its first mission. "The trip will be a one day activity, leaving around 7:30 am, and returning about 9:30pm", he said. "We will have a very special day for our travelers, with all veterans' food, beverages, and travel provided, as well as a few surprises."
Persons wishing to support the effort through financial donations can mail checks to Freedom Honor Flight, P.O. Box 505, La Crosse, WI 54602-0505. Or they can visit the organization's web site, www.freedomhonorflight.org, and click on the "Donate" button, which will be active within a very few days. Further fund-raising efforts are planned, officials said, because the organization plans more flights in the future. Further details are available on the groups website.
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