FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Honor Flight Northeast Indiana (HFNEI) sent a group of World War II veterans to Washington D.C. on Wednesday morning.
70 veterans, along with guardians and support staff, boarded a charted plane at the 122nd Air National Guard base and headed to the nation's capital to see the memorial built in their honor.
Honor Flight sent 69 veterans May 8 and another group will leave Oct. 23. This year marks the first time HFNEI has embarked on three flights.
The cost of one trip can be upwards of $65,000.
Wednesday morning, veterans were served breakfast by the 122nd and USO volunteers. The flight is scheduled to depart around 8:30 a.m. and will return to Fort Wayne around 9:30 p.m.
Anyone interested in to donating can visit the Honor Flight northeast Indiana website and click on the 'Donate' button on the right-hand side.
Donations can also be mailed to:
Honor Flight NEI
PO Box 5
Huntertown, IN 46748
Donate in honor or memory of a veteran in your life, or just to say "Thank You" to those who paid the price!
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.
Get a veteran on an honor flight
The next flight is scheduled for May 29 and volunteers are in the process of organizing another flight in October, date to be determined.
See also | Honor Flight #9 complete coverage
If you or a family member is a veteran of the military of the United States of America, especially WWII, and would like the opportunity to take part in an Honor Flight, see the Honor Flight of Northeast Indiana's web site for a link to an application.
While veterans of any war are eligible, there is currently a focus on WWII veterans who are dying at a rate of more than 1000 per day.
Be a guardian
Veterans must also be accompanied by a guardian. Guardians are usually responsible for just one veteran and will accompany and assist them throughout the day in Washington D.C. Spouses are not eligible to be guardians.
Guardians are asked to make a set donation to help cover their costs so that other donations go directly to benefit the veterans. As of May 2013, the required Guardian contribution was $400.
Veterans are also not responsible for recruiting a guardian. Honor Flight of Northeast Indiana has a list of volunteers that have applied for the honor of traveling with Honor Flight veterans.
Anyone interested in volunteering can contact the Honor Flight of Northeast Indiana.
The organization needs volunteers to help with administrative tasks, fundraising, and to be guardians and accompany veterans on the trip.
Sponsor a flight
The Honor Flight of Northeast Indiana is in need of organizations that can sponsor an entire flight . On average it takes $36,000 to send 30 veterans to DC and back. It took over a year to get the first flight off the ground when the Northeast Indiana organization was founded in 2008.
There are about 200 hundred veterans on the waiting list and some have been on it for over two years. In order to schedule a flight, the organization must have raised all the funds to cover it in advance. As soon the funds are raised, volunteers call veterans on the waiting list.
Full flight sponsors honor not only the veterans on the flight they sponsor, but pave the way for the next flight of honor. It is a gift that keeps giving. Publicity from one flight brings donations for the next.
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