WWII and Korea Veterans offered top priority for 2020 Trips
Honor Flight of the Central Coast, an all-volunteer organization dedicated to honoring local veterans, is inviting area WWII and Korean War veterans to apply for a three-day “Tour of Honor” trip to Washington D.C.
According to Bear McGill, president of Honor Flight of the Central Coast, all-expense paid trips are being planned for spring and fall of 2020. The three-day trips offer senior veterans a guided tour of military memorials and monuments and other points of interest in the DC area.
The Central Coast Chapter serves veterans from northern San Luis Obispo County through Santa Barbara County, with additional support available to vets travelling from the Santa Barbara area for the SLO-based flights. Nearly 350 veterans from San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties have made the trip with Honor Flight of the Central Coast since the local chapter formed in 2014.
The sole purpose of the program, said McGill, is to recognize the very men and women honored by the memorials.
“I’ve been on more than a dozen of these trips,” said McGill, “and every time I am moved to tears watching once-young soldiers remembering their pasts. Decades later, they remain fiercely patriotic and dedicated to our country.”
McGill said Honor Flight of the Central Coast is working hard to identify any WWII and Korean veterans from the Central Coast who may have interest in the trip. “We are fighting the clock on our aging vets,” he said, noting that in the last few months alone several former Honor Flight attendees have passed.
“We are reminded every day that the time to go is now.” McGill notes that physical limitations should not be a deterrent to applying for the trip.
“We are a fine-tuned machine that can handle virtually any need, including wheelchairs, walkers, oxygen tanks and medication. We will do everything we can to accommodate every interested veteran,” he said.
McGill encouraged friends and family members of candidates to contact Honor Flight to learn more.
He added that every veteran is accompanied by a guardian, usually a family member, who pays his or her own way. “Spend five minutes talking to a guardian and you’ll understand what this trip is all about,” said McGill. “My words just can’t express the impact of it all.”
Honor Flight of the Central Coast is led by a group of volunteers who must raise $100,000 each year to make the trips free to veteran attendees.
“Our team works like crazy, but the payoff is beyond measure,” McGill said.
To inquire about upcoming trips, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information is available online at www.honorflightccc.org.