Once again, the hard work and detailed planning by about 25 Rocky Mountain Honor Flight volunteers resulted in a successful three-day trip to Washington, D.C., this time for 29 World War II veterans.
“Rocky Mountain Honor Flight was created to take World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., for a time of remembrance, and celebration of their service and sacrifice,” said Mary Denise Haddon, group president. “All the cost of the trip is covered for our veterans.”
Donations from individuals and organizations pay the cost of airfare, hotel rooms, meals and ground transportation. The cost is about $800 to $1,000 per veteran. The volunteers who accompany the vets pay their own expenses.
The costs include providing a World War II veteran cap, a shirt, a backpack and a name tag to each veteran. The veterans wear red shirts. The volunteers wear blue shirts and hats.
The most recent trip, May 2-4, was the 17th time Rocky Mountain Honor Flight has arranged a trip for World War II veterans who live in the Front Range area.
“I went on the first Rocky Mountain Honor Flight trip and I was hooked,” Haddon said. “Our list of volunteers and donors has grown, so we were able to continue to make flights. We try to do about four flights a year and, so far, we have been able to take about 500 veterans on our trips.”
The honor flight program was created in 2005 in Springfield, Ohio. Rocky Mountain Honor Flight was established in 2007 and the first veterans’ trip was the next year. The local organization is one of 105 hub flights working to take World War II veterans to Washington, D.C.
“I believe all the honor flights are working to make as many trips as possible because our World War II veterans are aging and hundreds pass away each day,” she said.
Rocky Mountain Honor Flight is a nonprofit organization. For more information about the organization and the flights, visit the website at www.rockymountainhonorflight.org.
Facts about World War II veterans
16.1 million served in the military
400,000 died in combat
1.6 million were wounded
1 million veterans are still alive