Honor Flight Fayette is Ready to Fly Again

Tue, 04/14/2009 - 3:41pm
By: Carolyn Cary

Fayette County’s World War II veterans are dying at the rate of one a week, and a local organization is racing to honor as many as they can in their time remaining.

Honor Flight Fayette is a local organization dedicated to flying World War II veterans to Washington, D. C. to see the World War II Memorial, at no cost to the veteran.

This is a national organization begun in 2004 by a physician’s assistant who is also a retired Air Force captain.

In 2007 local retired history teacher, Gail Sparrow, heard about the project and decided to implement this network organization in the area she knows so well.

In May, 2008 the first flight from Fayette County took place, taking 70 local veterans to see the memorial, free of charge.

Volunteers are needed to train as “guardians” who must attend classes to learn their responsibilities in caring for their charges.

The guardians must pay their own way at a cost of $400 each. The Fayetteville First United Methodist Church hosts them beginning at 6 a.m. the day of the trip, with Chick-fil-A providing breakfast. Lunch and supper must be provided, along with snacks during the flight, a t-shirt, and a disposable camera. They must also hire two charter buses in Washington, D. C., large enough to accommodate those in wheel chairs.

Air Tran Airways accommodates Honor Flight as cheaply as they can, but when the day-long expenses are totaled up, the cost is $50,000 per trip.

This is where you can help. Honor Flight Fayette is a 501(c)3 organization, and your contributions are tax-deductible.

The next flight is in September, and your donations are requested. It can be mailed to Honor Flight Fayette Foundation, P. O Box 1209, Fayetteville, GA 30214. Its Web address is www.honorflightfayette.org.

Nationwide, World War II veterans are dying at the rate of 1,200 a day. According to our local obituaries, our Fayette County veterans are dying at the rate of one a week. Let’s do our part to get them on a Honor Flight, before they leave us.

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