ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Honor Flight Network, a non-profit organization that provides veterans a round-trip flight, accommodations and a visit to the war memorials in Washington D.C. all free of charge, has left quite the impact on World War II veteran Jack Foy, of Rochester.
“It was terrifically emotional,” Foy said. “Guys were crying walking in. You remembered all your friends that you had lost.”
But now, the Honor Flight Network is seeking veterans – particularly those from World War II – for its next flight.
“We want to make sure we get more and more,” said Richard Stewart, of the Rochester Honor Flight Network. “We think we’ve just scratched the surface in terms of total number of vets out there that are eligible to take this flight. And we go oldest era first, so the World War IIs before the Koreas. We’ve taken some Vietnams, but we want to make sure we don’t miss anyone in the oldest eras before we go full-fledged into taking large numbers of Vietnams in the future.”
Foy says health concerns should not discourage World War II veterans from participating. Each veteran has access to a wheelchair, health care and an individualized guardian.
And he says even veterans who aren’t sure they have the emotional strength should take the Honor Flight.
“You almost can say they come back a different person,” Foy said. “They realize that they weren’t the only one that got shot, they weren’t the only ones that were scared to death over there. The other guys were too. And it helps a lot.”
The flights are free to all eligible American veterans. The next mission, number 55, is scheduled for September. To apply, volunteer, sponsor, or donate to the cause, visit this website.