WILMINGTON — The Honor Flight system began as the dream of retired Air Force Captain Earl Morse of Springfield.
After retirement he began working at a small VA clinic as a physician’s assistant where he came in contact with many World War II veterans who wanted to visit their recently dedicated memorial, but lacked the resources.
Led by Morse, in 2005 six small private planes carried 12 veterans to Washington, D.C. at no charge. Later that year the group was booking seats on commercial airlines.
Today, Honor Flight Dayton charters a 150-passenger aircraft for the each of their four annual flights.
Clinton Co. takes flight
In 2015 a few members of Wilmington’s Noon Rotary Club were discussing the contribution local veterans have made to Clinton County and the possibility of getting involved with the Honor Flight program as a way of thanking them for their service.
In January 2016, both Wilmington Rotary Clubs with invited members of the American Legion and VFW met with Honor Flight Dayton and decided they wanted to become a flight sponsor. The first committee meeting was held in April — not to sponsor a flight, but rather to sponsor local veterans.
It became evident almost immediately after the Clinton County Honor Flight initiative was announced, that area residents and businesses also wanted to thank the county’s veterans. Donations and sponsorships flowed in.
Veterans applied for the trip and on Sept. 30, 2016 approximately 800 well-wishers attended a send-off program for the 80 local WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans who traveled to Washington, D.C. the next morning with Honor Flight Dayton.
Fast forward to January 2017 and the Clinton County Honor Flight #2 campaign is underway. The committee made arrangements with Honor Flight Dayton for 55 seats on the April 29 flight and veterans’ applications and donations are sought once again.
Another send-off is set for the evening of Friday, April 28 with Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) the keynote speaker.
Clinton County veterans who served during WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War are eligible for the all-expenses paid flight to Washington, D.C. and chartered bus transportation to the monuments and memorials dedicated in honor of their selfless service.
For an application or information on this once-in-a-lifetime experience, contact Richard Jame at 937-218-6003 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Paul Butler at 937-283-5995 or email@example.com; or Jack Powell at 937-725-3412 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To sponsor a Clinton County veteran, mail your tax-deductible donation of $425 per sponsorship to: Honor Flight Dayton, c/o Jack Powell, 3435 Airborne Road, Suite B, Wilmington, OH 45177.
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