World War II vets encouraged to sign up for free ‘Honor Flight’ to Washington, D.C.
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 21, 2015)– A program designed to honor the “greatest generation” is ramping up recruiting efforts to provide all expenses paid trips to Washington, D.C. later this year.
The goal of Indy Honor Flights is to get the state’s aging World War II veterans to the nation’s capitol. Two trips are planned for later this year, including one in early September and another in late October.
In 2012, the very first Indy Honor Flight escorted veterans to see the World War II memorial firsthand.
“This gives veterans the chance to be recognized for who they are and what they’ve done,” said Bill Hill, who fought in Okinawa with the 96th infantry.
Out of 180 men in his unit, Bill is the last surviving soldier.
“Those that are still with us, we really want to take then out so they know what they did is important,” said Indy Honor Flight founder Grant Thompson.
Thompson says during the last 3 years, more than 800 veterans have been flown to D.C.
While Korean and Vietnam veterans are eligible, they remain on a wait list until all World War II vets have been signed up.
Grant estimates there are still thousands of those soldiers alive in central Indiana, but convincing some of those vets to take the trip remains the biggest challenge.
“Every excuse these guys have come up with for why they can’t go, we have put to rest,” said Thompson. “They need to come with us.”
Hill also recommends every World War II veteran, whose average age right now is 90-years-old, take advantage and sign up for the honor flight before it’s too late.
“We are all a dying breed and they need to take this trip of a lifetime. They’ll never forget it,” said Hill.
Anyone interested in signing up for the honor flights can find more information here.