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.