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Posted: May 11, 2018 1:15 p.m.
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Honor Flight

Veterans head to Nation’s capital

Steve Hart/

Retired Army Lt. Col. William R. Von Harten (left) and former Sgt. Samuel B. Hollis, walk from Hunter Army Airfield's Tominac Fitness Center May 4 to the charter bus that will transport them to and around Washington D.C. Twenty-four veterans from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War were given a Tour of Honor as part of the nation's Honor Flight Program. The sidewalk from from Tominac to the bus was lined with Service Members from each branch of the Armed Forces who saluted the ...

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     For the 18th time since the inaugural Honor Flight on October 24, 2009, Honor Flight Savannah sponsored 24 military veterans from the local area with a trip to Washington, D.C. May 4 – 6 to see the various war memorials built and dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices in past wars.  Veterans will also view the Changing of Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery.  

     The 24 veterans brings Honor Flight Savannah’s total number of World War II and Korean and Vietnam War veterans being honored to more than 1,200, since the start of the program.

     “This means a lot to a lot of people,” said Sam Hollis, a 92-year-old veteran of World War II who is going on the trip.  “I am looking forward to associating with some of these guys,” added the former Soldier who served in Gen. George S. Patton’s Third Army.

      The initial Honor Flight was at the national level in 2005.  It targeted World War II veterans.  The target audience was expanded to veterans of the Korean and Vietnam Wars in 2013.

     Veterans now travel by charter bus.  Transportation, meals and lodging are free to participating veterans.  Each veteran is assigned an escort.  

     “I/m proud to be here with other citizens who have come forward to support these veterans,” said Bonnie Humphrey, an escort for a Vietnam Veteran.  

     “It’s always humbling to stand in the presence of greatness,” said Lt. Col. Ken Dwyer, in his remarks to the veterans and those in attendance to see the veterans off.  “For the veterans that we honor today, there are no words to express the thanks that our country owes you.  The freedoms we enjoy in this great nation exist because of your courage, because of your commitment and because of your sacrifice.”

     The Honor Flight Network has transported thousands of veterans from across the United States.  Honor Flight Savannah’s market includes Coastal Georgia and South Carolina’s Low Country.  Friday’s trip includes one veteran of World War II, three from the Korean War and 20 from the Vietnam War.

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