Honor Flight Long Island, the local chapter of nonprofit group that flies veterans for free from the region to Washington, D.C., takes off this weekend on a trip to visit the nation’s war memorials.
The group hosts and pays for the biannual flights, which depart from Islip MacArthur Airport. As part of the day’s events, veterans and volunteers fly to Baltimore-Washington International Airport, where a motor coach takes them on a 50-minute drive to D.C. and the WWII, Korean and Vietnam memorials, to Arlington National Cemetery, and on to Air Force, Navy plus other memorials.
“Your country said that it needed you, and you said yes, I will go,“ HFLI President Bill Jones, of Southampton, told the 50 Veterans who made the last D.C. trip on May 12.
The LI chapter of the national group was formed in 2007 by the late Chris Cosich. WWII, Korea and Vietnam veterans are currently being recruited for upcoming, cost-free trips to visit their Washington, D.C. memorials.
The trips are offered to veterans who have not yet visited these memorials in the nation’s capital. The group is now lining up 2019 trips for eligible Vietnam veterans.
Each trip includes 50 veterans who go for free, thanks to donations from across LI. They are accompanied by 50 guardians, next generation, able-bodied volunteers who donate $400 (tax deductible) to offset the day’s travel expenditures. If there is no family member to act as a guardian, HFLI has a roster of volunteers ready to step up for the privilege and donate the required fee.
“Long Islanders who have a loved one interested in taking an Honor Flight, should contact us and we’ll make all the required arrangements,” Jones said.
For more details on HFLI, to apply for spots on an upcoming flight, or make a contribution to become a veteran’s guardian, visit honorflightlongisland.org or call Virginia Bennett at 631-702-2423.