Help Local Estes Park WWII Veterans Take The Honor Flight To Washington DC
If you think times are tough now, ask a WWII Veteran what they think “tough” means. World War II Veterans struggled through the depression years as children and then endured a war to become the greatest generation this country has ever seen. If you have not spent time with folks from that generation you are really missing out. They didn’t have cell phones, ipods or laptop computers. Life was simple, and they made do with the lives they were dealt the best they could. Most are now in their 80s and they are slipping away at a rate of 1,200 a day. It is time to stand up and recognize these brave men and women and let them know how much we appreciate what they sacrificed for the world.
WWII Veterans waited 60 years to finally see a memorial built in their honor in Washington DC in 2004. By that time, the Veterans were experiencing failing health and limited finances. Most are not able to make it to the memorial on their own. The Honor Flight program was started four years ago by a man named Earl Morse, and Ohio physician assistant and retired Air Force Captain. He worked at a VA hospital and when he would see WWII veterans as patients he would ask them if they had seen their memorial. Morse began by flying the veterans at his expense to DC. The idea spread across the country and hit the Northern Colorado area in 2008.
A group of dedicated Veterans and concerned citizens have pledged to raise the money to support this important cause.
It costs $1000 for each Veteran to fly to DC, spend the night, see their memorial and fly back the next day. Veterans are not to pay a dime for the trip: Honor Flight feels they have already given enough. All monies are donated by service organizations and individuals. As with most causes the first HFNC trip created quite a buzz and the money came pouring in. The group easily funded the first trip in September 2008 and the second in April of 2009.
Due to tough economic times, people are not giving to charities as they did in the past. Veterans know very well about tightening of the belt. It is how they have lived their entire lives. But, we cannot wait for the tide to turn, because HF needs the funds now to pay for the flight in September 2009, which will carry 10 Estes Park, WWII Veterans on board. So far, Sunrise Rotary has donated $2,000 and the American Legion Post has donated $1,800. We are asking anyone who is willing and able to please donate what you can to make this dream possible. The Honor Flight has already taken four local residents to DC and has five more on the waiting list for the flight in April 2010.
Checks should be made payable to Community Foundation – Honor Flight and sent to or dropped off at the Good Samaritan Village or the American Legion Club. We would like to send all of the checks in together so we are sure Estes Park gets the credit for supporting our local Veterans. Please, contact Carey Stevanus at Good Sams 970-577-1149 ext 111 for more information. Donations may also be made to Honor Flight directly through their web site at: www.honorflightnortherncolorado.org. A video of the September 2008 flight from Northern Colorado may be viewed on www.youtube.com by searching for Northern Colorado Honor Flight.