Purple Heart Honor Flight

07/16/2023 - Trip #43 (Purple Heart) Update

We have 103 Purple Heart Veterans ready to go for what we believe is the single largest contingent of Purple Heart Veterans taken to D.C. in a trip like this.   Their experience will begin Sunday August 6th, 2PM EDT. There is national news media interest/coverage and we even have been told the White House and Pentagon know about this very special trip.

MORNING SEND-OFF:  Monday morning - our Veterans will receive a motorcycle and police escort from the hotels to the 122nd Fighter Wing (ANG Base).   Anyone who wants to get up really early and see us off - can go downtown Fort Wayne and stand on N. Clinton Street, just south of the MLK bridge in the East lane that is blocked off by jersey barriers.  Our convoy will do a slow roll past this area as we cross the bridge.  Again - please stand inside the closed off lane on the EAST side of the street for your safety.  Parking is available on the Northwest corner of N. Clinton and 4th street.  We suggest you be in place by 4am.  We should roll past sometime between 4:10 - 4:20am.

WELCOME HOME NEWS - The welcome home for trip #43 will be at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum Monday 8/7/23.  Anyone wishing to come out should come to the Coliseum (4000 Parnell Ave. Fort Wayne).  The public is asked to arrive between 8:00 - 8:15pm EDT .   Our Veterans are expected to arrive between (9:30pm - 10:00pm) via police escort for the airport.  


Follow along all day on our Facebook page  www.facebook.com/hfnei1 as we will have photos and videos posted throughout the day.  Our 3 Wreath Laying Ceremonies will also be streamed LIVE at the Navy Memorial, Marine Memorial and as always Arlington National Cemetery.  We will also be posting photos and streaming portions of the banquet Sunday evening.




06/04/23 - Fort Wayne (IN) - Our Purple Heart Honor Flight trip is scheduled for Monday August 7th, 2023, on National Purple Heart Day.  Planning is coming along well as we begin contacting Veterans for this flight the week of 6/5 to begin preparing them for their trip.  Currently we have over 100 Purple Heart Veterans on our list for this trip.  As part of this trip, there will also be a special banquet in their honor.  This banquet will be held Sunday, August 6th here in Fort Wayne at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. 

 Veterans will be staying overnight (Sunday, August 6th) in area hotels on the North side of Fort Wayne prior to the trip thanks to the help of Blue Flame Hospitality.  Veterans will be checking in Sunday afternoon, then shuttled to the banquet.  They will shuttle back to their Hotel that evening, then Monday morning, load buses for a police escorted trip through town to the 122nd Air National Guard base to board an American Airlines plane chartered for their trip to Washington DC.


"First and foremost, we would like to thank our Veterans for their service to this great Country!  Secondly, the amount of community support and donations have been incredible, especially the WOWO Penny Pitch staff and volunteers", HFNEI President Cathy Berkshire noted. "There have been some additional logistics to work out for this trip, but everyone involved has gone above and beyond to make this trip special.  Normally we take 85 Veterans, but with over 100 Veterans on the list for this trip - many have voluntarily opted not to take a local guardian and allow us to provide a volunteer guardian from DC - thus allowing the additional Veterans a seat on the plane so they could go.  Not only did these Veterans give more during their service - but they continue to give back by supporting their fellow Purple Heart Comrades today."

 Upon their return Monday night, our Veterans will be shuttled from the Fort Wayne International Airport to the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum for their BIG welcome home by the community that will take place INSIDE the Expo Center at the Memorial Coliseum.  The entire community is welcome to come to this late evening event to welcome home the largest contingent of Purple Heart Veterans taken to see their Memorials built in their Honor.  NOTE - the welcome home will NOT be at the airport - everyone should report to the Memorial Coliseum for the welcome home.  We expect to arrive at the coliseum Monday night around 10pm.


We can't thank the community, local business, the VFW and American Legion personnel, WOWO Radio’s Penny Pitch program and everyone else who has helped to make this very special trip possible.


Stay tuned to our website and our Facebook page (facebook.com/hfnei1) for additional information as we continue to get closer to this special date.