Aero club helps WWII vets

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by evangilder, Jun 2, 2005.

  1. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    These guys are great!

    When the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., was dedicated last year, most veterans were already over 75 years old. Some of them were patients at the V.A. hospital in Ohio where Earl Morse works as a physician's assistant, and Morse realized many of the aging vets would never make it to D.C. to see their monument. Some couldn't afford the plane ticket to Washington, or were too infirm to make the 10-hour car ride. So Morse, a retired Air Force captain, came up with a better idea -- he and his fellow pilots from the Wright-Patterson Aero Club would fly them there, in a Bonanza, a Mooney, a Cessna 210, or a Piper Aztec. Those aircraft and four others -- eight pilots and 12 veterans -- made the two-and-a-half-hour flight from Ohio to Washington and back on May 21, the first of what Morse hopes will be many similar trips. In Washington, the vets were treated like heroes, as they took pictures and reminisced at the Memorial and shared a meal with the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post. The cost to the veteran is zero, and although it's a long day -- leaving Springfield at 8 a.m. and returning about 12 hours later -- the traveling is relatively easy on them.


    ...While Dozens More Wait Their Turn
    Morse has christened the effort Honor Flight, and organized support from veterans' groups and local businesses, who chipped in to provide meals and ground transportation for the travelers. The pilots paid the Aero Club rental fees, or flew their own airplanes. "It was the most rewarding thing I've ever done," pilot Ron Smith told AVweb on Tuesday. "When we landed back at Springfield that night, there were 200 people there to greet us, waving flags ... that's when the veterans really got very emotional." Honor Flight already has more than 150 vets on a waiting list to make the trip. And "sadly, time is not on our side," says the group's Web site. Another trip is planned for June 11. "We'll do these trips all summer," Smith said. "As long as we can get pilots to volunteer, we'll do it."

    http://www.avweb.com/eletter/archives/avflash/409-full.html#189886
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Very Cool!
     
  3. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    What a briiliant Idea Evan It must have made them old boys feel like a million dollars knowing how much many of the younger generation still recognise the contribution that they and their mates made. Good on Earl and his friends
     
  4. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Yes, the guys that have volunteered their time, money and airplanes are real patriots. I Yiddish, they would be called "Mensches". A Mensch is a person who does good or righteous deeds for unselfish reasons.
     
  5. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    In any language there nice blokes Evan
     
  6. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Yep, I wholeheartedly agree. Great guys! Someone should put all of that group in for some kind of recognition award.
     
  7. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    I bet if you ask them Evan they would say being thanked by them Ex servicemen and seeing them meet up with their old comrades and fellow veterans is better than any award they could get.
     
  8. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I know that would be the case, but it's still something that should not go unrecognized.
     
  9. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    Well its a start putting them on here Evan that must be a couple of hundred or so people from around the world that know about them already.
     
  10. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    And that came from a newsletter via e-mail that comes every week to the aviation community. There are some heavy hitters in the aviation world that read that newsletter, so that is good. I am hoping that some of the folks that have the financial resources will expand the program.
     
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