Honor Flight Long Island (HFLI), the iconic volunteer-run Veterans’ organization, is proud to announce the resumption of bi-annual flights to Washington, D.C., after two years of pandemic-related restrictions. HFLI’s second and final flight of 2022, on Friday, September 23, 2022, will take WWII, Korean, and Vietnam War Veterans to visit their military memorials, meet with service branch representatives, commiserate with fellow Veterans, and exchange stories. Honor Flight’s mission is to honor fellow Long Islanders who served in the Armed Forces of the United States and to preserve freedom around the world by providing free, one-day D.C. trips for Veterans.
Thanks to HFLI, these Veterans will take a free, early-morning Southwest flight to Washington, D.C. Departing from Islip MacArthur Airport at 8:20 a.m., Veterans will visit the WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War Memorials, plus Arlington National Cemetery, the Air Force and Navy Memorials and other high-points. They return to Islip later that evening at 10:50 p.m. for a rousing welcome by the Saffron United Pipe Band, plus thunderous applause from hundreds of families and supporters!
According to Bill Jones, HFLI President, West Point 1972 Graduate, and U.S. Army Veteran, “This special flight includes one WWII, 22 Korean War and 27 Vietnam War Veterans, who will receive recognition and thanks for their service. What this really represents is a ‘Big Hug’ to all our Veterans from HFLI, their families, and supporters who make such flights possible.” Jones added that HFLI will always give priority to any WWII Veterans who wish to go and that HFLI is currently accepting applications from WWII, Korean, and Vietnam Veterans, who he encourages to sign up.
Veterans, it’s important to submit an application at www.honorflightlongisland.org, as that will ensure your placement on the HFLI list. Veterans fly for free, thanks to donations from across Long Island. They are accompanied by Guardians, able-bodied volunteers who donate $400 (tax-deductible) to offset travel costs. If there is no family member to act as a Guardian, HFLI has volunteers ready to step up for the privilege of escorting these heroes to their memorials. Questions can be answered by calling Jamie Bowden at (631) 702-2423 or emailing Jamie at JBowden@southamptontownny.gov.
The Korean War Memorial, under renovation for the past couple of years, was rededicated on July 29, 2022, with a new feature – a “Wall of Remembrance” – that lists the names of over 43,000 U.S. service members and Korean augmentees to the U.S. Army who was killed during the war. It’s an impressive and moving memorial. One inscription reads, “Freedom is Not Free.” Another reads: “Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met.” Americans always answer the call.
HFLI invites the news media to cover the special Veterans’ flight departure and return at Islip MacArthur Airport on Friday, September 23, 2022. Flight departure from Islip is at 8:20 a.m. The suggested arrival time for media is one hour before flight departure for interviews and photography. Media should also plan on arriving at Islip one hour before the return flight lands at 10:50 p.m.