May 16, 2012

World War II veterans greeted, honored during visit to nation’s capital

by SrA. Christina Brownlow
Washington, D.C.

James Blair, a World War II veteran, shakes hands with the crowd as he arrives at Ronald Reagan National Airport on an Honor Flight May 12, 2012. The veterans are in the nation’s capital on an Honor Flight trip to visit the memorials that are dedicated to those who fought for our freedom. The Honor Flight Network is a nonprofit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices.

The Honor Flight Network hosted 169 World War II veterans who were greeted at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport as they landed to visit and reflect at memorials throughout the local area.

The Honor Flight Network is a nonprofit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. Top priority is given to the senior World War II survivors, along with other veterans who may be terminally ill.

The veterans arrived from Florida on two flights and required 195 guardians, support volunteer and medical personnel to make these flights possible.

Upon arrival the veterans, were greeted by 85 military members and their families, the Falls Church Concert Band, and hundreds of bystanders.

These trips give veterans who might not otherwise get the chance to see the monuments, the honor to see them and the local community the chance to honor the veterans for their service while they are visiting the nation’s capital.

MSgt. Amy Winn, executive assistant to the Air Force chief of staff, has been greeting the honor flights for the last two years.

“To spend time with our country’s greatest generation is so worth it. These men and women did their service not expecting anything in return,” Winn said.

With approximately 900 WWII veterans passing away each day, the Honor Flight Network continues to do whatever it takes to fulfill the dreams of our heroes at no cost to them.

“What gets to me the most is that a lot of the vets look at us (greeters at the airport) and they thank us for our service. Their service is honored by current members of the military,” Winn said. “I owe it to them. We all do.”

Harvey Bennett, a World War II veteran, is overcome by emotions during the Honor Flight reception at the Ronald Reagan National Airport on May 12, 2012. Bennett was of 169 veterans who visited the nation’s capital. The Honor Flight Network is a nonprofit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices.

Airmen salute a group of World War II veterans as they depart Ronald Reagan National Airport during their Honor Flight tour May 12, 2012. The Honor Flight Network is a nonprofit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices.

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