About Honor Flight Northeast Indiana
The World War II Memorial in Washington DC was completed and dedicated in May 2004. It is a long overdue “Thank You” to the men and women who sacrificed so much for our freedom, and a memorial to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. It was so long overdue that many WWII survivors have been unable to visit their memorial due to the barriers of advanced age, such as health matters, stamina, finances, or other travel impediments. Honor Flight provides a way for many of these veterans to visit and reflect at their memorial.
WWII veterans pay nothing for this trip. They have given enough. Honor Flights are funded by community donations from generous individuals, corporations, foundations, and other groups who wish to be an important part of honoring these heroes. The cost is also defrayed in part by Honor Flight volunteer “guardians,” who make a substantial donation in order to honor veterans in a very personal way, escorting them and being there to help as needed throughout the day.
The immediate focus of the Honor Flight Network will remain on WWII veterans and those veterans from any war that have a terminal illness; however, the vision goes beyond WWII. In the future, Honor Flight plans to pay tribute to America's other heroes that served during the Korean and Vietnam wars, followed by veterans of more current wars. They too have given much and it is time to show them that their efforts will not be forgotten.
History of the Honor Flight Network
It all started next door......in Springfield, Ohio.
In May of 2004, the WWII Memorial was finally completed and dedicated in Washington DC. This quickly became the topic of discussion among WWII veterans who were patients at a Department of Veterans Affairs clinic in Springfield, Ohio.
Earl Morse, a Retired Air Force Captain who is also a Physician Assistant at the clinic, asked these veterans if they would ever travel out to visit their memorial. Most felt that eventually, somehow, they would make it. As summer turned to fall, and then winter, these same veterans returned to the clinic for their follow-up visits. Earl asked if they accomplished their dream of visiting the WWII Memorial. By now, reality had settled in. It was clear to most that it simply was not financially or physically possible for them to make the journey. Most of these WWII heroes were in their 80s and unable to complete a trip on their own. Families and friends also lacked the resources and time. Earl could tell that the majority of the veterans had given up all hope of ever visiting the memorial that was created to honor their services and the services of their fellow comrades who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Earl is also a private pilot. In December of 2004, he asked one of his WWII veteran patients if he could personally fly him out to DC, free of charge, to visit his memorial. The gentleman broke down and cried. He said at his age he knew he would probably never get to see his memorial. He accepted the offer. A second veteran was asked the same question a week later. His response was the same.
In January, 2005, Earl addressed members of an aero club, outlining a volunteer program to fly veterans to their memorial. There were two major stipulations to his request. The first was that the veterans pay nothing. The entire aircraft rental would have to be paid solely by the pilots. The second was that the pilots personally escort the veterans around DC the entire day. Eleven pilots who had never met his patients volunteered.
Honor Flight Was Born.
Other dedicated volunteers joined, a board was formed, funds were raised and the first flight took to the air in May of 2005. Soon other flights were planned and successfully accomplished. So many veterans wanted to participate that by the end of the year Honor Flight began using commercial aircraft.
The mission and ideals of the program began to spread across America. Jeff Miller led the expansion into areas not serviced by direct commercial flights to Washington DC by arranging charter flights out of Hendersonville, North Carolina. Similar organizations began to follow suit. Earl and Jeff combined efforts and co-founded the Honor Flight Network.
Safely transport America’s Veterans to Washington DC, to visit those memorials dedicated to honor their sacrifices.
We value our freedom and know that we owe our freedom to the men and women who fought to preserve it. Each of us have family members who served or are currently serving in the U.S. Military, and we appreciate the sacrifice and bravery of our troops and all of our veterans. We want to say "Thank You" to our World War II heroes before it's too late!
Board of Directors
Bob Myer - President
Max Robison - Vice President
Cat Lipska - Secretary
Chris Roberts - Treasurer
Honor Flight NE Indiana is a 501c3 organization. Donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Consult your tax professional for advice. IRS 501c3 approval letter.
Join the Honor Flight Volunteer Corps
We are a volunteer organization. We welcome anyone with a heart for honoring veterans. Please contact us if you are interested in contributing your time and talents to Honor Flight.
Honor Flight - a small tribute to those who gave so much.