World War II veterans needed for “Honor Flights”
By Matthew Burgoyne
The American Legion of Madison is looking for World War II veterans to take part in the Honor Flight program, which brings veterans to the new World War II memorial in Washington, D.C.
Honor Flight Fayette is one of two programs in Georgia and one of many in the country. The program is designed to provide World War II veterans with the opportunity to see the newly built memorial. It is run completely from donations from the community. It costs $400 on average for one veteran to make the trip to the memorial.
Everyday, 1,200 World War II veterans die, according to Jim NeSmith, who is organizing the Madison/Morgan County effort.
The trip is a full day of traveling. Veterans are brought to the airport and flown to Washington, D.C. They are then taken straight from the airport to the World War II memorial. Lunch is provided and then the veterans are taken to Arlington Cemetery and then back to the airport to be flown back to Atlanta.
Last month, 120 veterans in Georgia took part in the Honor Flight program.
“This is one of the things we need to do to show these guys that we are appreciative and what they did for our country is great,” said NeSmith.
The Honor Flight program is trying to get as many veterans to the memorial. With the number of World War II veterans dwindling rapidly, it is important to provide them with the chance to see the memorial in their honor.
Currently, the Honor Flight system works on a first come, first serve basis. There is a national waiting list of 4,000.
The American Legion is asking any interested veterans who are in good health to apply by June 15. To get an application, call (706) 342-2177. A picture is needed withe application. Once completed, send the completed application to:
P.O. Box 707
Madison, GA 30650
“If we can get the community support that would be great,” NeSmith said.
One school in Fayetteville raised $20,000. If you would like to make a donation, you can send it to the above address.