In the early morning hours on May 6th, 2014 more than 100 World War II veterans boarded a chartered plane at KCI bound for Washington D.C. Heartland Honor Flight sent these veterans along with guardians, family members and volunteers, as well as other war veterans to Washington to visit the memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices.
The National Honor Flight Program started in 2006, and the Heartland Honor Flight program began serving veterans in 2008. To
date, they have sent over 750 WWII veterans, and over 1000 total veterans to Washington D.C. During the day-long trip, the veterans visited the WWII Memorial, The Korea/Vietnam/Lincoln Memorials, the Arlington National Cemetery and Tomb of the Unknowns, the Marine Corps Memorial/Iwo Jima Memorial, and the Airforce Memorial.
“It is so rewarding to see all the veterans and their families experience this event together-it can be quite moving”, said John Doole, President of the Heartland Honor Flight. “One very special time is at the end of the day on the flight home. One month prior to departure, a letter is sent to the family of the veteran. They are asked to send in letters thanking their loved one for their service. Then at about 9pm during the flight home, we have our own “mail call” in which the letters are delivered to the veterans. Some cannot finish the letters because of their great emotion reading these moving tributes.”
Jerry Nerman, the chairman of the board at Central Bank of KC, was able to travel with his son Lewis on the May Honor Flight. “The whole day I was treated like royalty. What a wonderful experience and I am so grateful I was able to go.” Jerry’s favorite memorials included the WWII Memorial and the Airforce Memorial.
The whole group was greeted at the airport with marching bands, signs, and thousands of smiling supporters. Many of these men did not have any type of special homecoming after the war, which made this homecoming so special.
The Heartland Honor Flight is looking for more veterans to travel to Washington. This day is free for all the veterans. Please check out their website here
and also their facebook page
. If you know any veterans that would enjoy traveling on this flight, please forward them this information.