THE HISTORY OF HONOR FLIGHT

 


The Honor Flight Network program was conceived by Earl Morse, a physician assistant and Retired Air Force Captain. Earl wanted to honor the veterans he had taken care of for the past 27 years. After retiring from the Air Force in 1998, Earl was hired by the Department of Veterans Affairs to work in a small clinic in Springfield, Ohio. In May of 2004, the World War II Memorial was finally completed and dedicated in Washington, D.C. and quickly became the topic of discussion among his World War II veteran patients.
 

Soon other dedicated volunteers joined, a board was formed, funds were raised and that first flight took to the air in May of 2005. Six small planes flew 12 very happy veterans out to Manassas, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. Vans then transported the pilots and veterans into D.C. and to the World War II Memorial. The responses from both the veterans and the pilots were overwhelming. It was an experience that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Soon other flights were planned and made. So many veterans wanted to participate that commercial aircraft were used to accommodate forty veterans at a time, including many in wheelchairs. By the end of the first year, Honor Flight had transported 137 World War II veterans to their memorial.

The mission and ideals of the program began to spread across America.

Other cities and states became aware of our efforts and we fostered working relationships with dedicated community leaders in several states. Jeff Miller in Hendersonville, North Carolina led the expansion into areas not serviced by direct commercial flights to the Washington, D.C. area. He accomplished what was thought to be impossible, organizing and obtaining funding to fly an entire commercial jet filled with local area veterans to visit the monument. The future looks bright for our country’s World War II veterans. In February of 2006, Earl and Jeff combined efforts and co-founded Honor Flight Network. The leaders of various flying programs, and others interested in starting similar projects in their own regions, attended a summit in Washington, D.C. with over 100 people in attendance. Now a network of participating programs is in place to assist our senior heroes. Resources are pooled, experience is shared and alliances are formed throughout America to get World War II veterans to their precious memorial safely.
 

Honor Flight Network has established an aggressive goal. Through the end of 2011 we transported more than 81,000 WWII veterans to Washington, D.C. to see their memorial.. The program presently has 117 hubs in 40 states. Due to the senior age of our heroes, and the prediction that we are losing approximately 900 of them daily, we are committed to do all within our power to make their dream a reality. Our current focus will remain on World War II veterans and those veterans from any war who have  a terminal illness. However, our vision goes beyond World War II.

Honoring All Our Veterans.

In the future, Honor Flight Network will also pay tribute to America’s other heroes who served during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, followed by veterans of more current wars. They, too, have given so much and it’s time we show them that their efforts are not forgotten. Honor Flight Network has learned a lot over these last four years and one point that stands out is that our veteran heroes aren’t asking for recognition. It is our position that they deserve it. Our program is just a small token of our appreciation for those that gave so much.
 

Please help us continue to make their dream of visiting THEIR memorial, a reality.
 

HONOR FLIGHT NETWORK — our way of saying to all our veterans — one more TOUR with HONOR.

Honor Flight Northeast Tn gratefully accepts donations of any amount to continue our mission of taking our WWII Veterans to see their memorials in Washington D.C. at NO cost to the veteran. We operate under 501(c)(3) tax-deductible rules for non-profits.
World War II veterans waited patiently for over 60 years for a memorial that recognizes their service and accomplishments. The World War II Memorial also recognizes the ultimate sacrifices of their friends who never made it home.  ALL of our surviving WWII veterans deserve this one last opportunity to visit America’s “Thank You.
Honor Flight Northeast Tennessee receives NO government assistance.  We are supported ONLY by individual, community and corporate donations.
Please mail your donations to: 
HONOR FLIGHT NORTHEAST TENNESSEE
1005 OPEKISKA EXT.
ERWIN,TN 37605 Or utilize the PayPal link that follows
Any and all donation amounts are gratefully accepted.  Civic, military and community groups are also encouraged to sponsor groups of veterans in their region who are on our waiting list.