Rotary Honor Flight to Take Vietnam Veterans to Washington, DC
Tuscaloosa Rotary Honor Flight 8 to Depart Wednesday, May 10th
May 8, 2017, Tuscaloosa, Al – Vietnam War Veterans will have an opportunity for a one-day trip to Washington, DC, to visit their war memorials on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. Rotary Club trip organizers say the Honor Flight filled quickly as many Vietnam Veterans had been waiting for an opportunity to participate.
Since May 2010, The Rotary Club of Tuscaloosa has transported 565 World War II and Korean War Veterans to Washington, DC. The trip includes stops at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, World War II and Korean War Memorials, Lincoln Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery Changing of the Guard, FDR Memorial & the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial.
The group will depart from the Hawthorne Global Aviation Terminal (formerly Bama Air) at the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport on a chartered Boeing 737 at 6:30 am on May 10 and will return that evening at 8:30 pm. Guardians and medical professionals who provide assistance as needed throughout the day will accompany the group. At the Baltimore airport a General from the Pentagon, military personnel and the local Honor Flight committee will greet the group.
From Baltimore the 168 person group will travel on three tour buses to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial where their elected officials will meet them. At each stop throughout the day, tourists and fellow Veterans from around the country will recognize our Veterans. At the end of a long day, they will be welcomed home by a water salute from the local fire department and a walk down the red carpet to patriotic music and the cheers of a flag-waving hometown crowd.
Alan Hartley, President of The Rotary Club of Tuscaloosa said “These veterans were sent to fight a war that we as a country probably did not fully prepare them for and probably did not provide adequate support. But they did their duty, and they fought for America. We are excited about honoring them through this Honor Flight because they did go about fulfilling their duty, they defended this country, and they did all that was asked of them as soldiers. They could not control the politics of the time, but they did what was asked of them by putting their lives at risk for America.” Jordan Plaster, Chairman of Tuscaloosa Rotary Honor Flight said, “This 8th Honor Flight will be something special. The healing process from any war has to be difficult. The Vietnam War Veterans were exposed to the many horrors that come with war. The way these veterans were treated when they returned home from the war was bad. We are hoping that when these veterans participate on the Honor Flight, that they will see that people from all over the country are going to treat them as heroes. We hope that this can be part of a final healing process for them.” Becky York, Honor Flight Director said, “The purpose of Honor Flight 8 is to recognize and thank our Vietnam Veterans who were sent to fight an unpopular war in extremely difficult conditions. They returned home not to be treated as heroes, but to be disrespected. Yet, when speaking with these Veterans, I continue to be amazed by their responses. They have not talked about horrors or sacrifices. It’s been difficult to even get them to tell where they were stationed or what their jobs were. Instead, they say how honored they are to be selected for this Honor Flight.” “It’s a dream come true !” “I never thought I’d get to go to Washington to see the memorials !” York added, “These quotes have been the typical response of the Vietnam Veterans as they completed their applications.” Plaster, Hartley & York added, “Wednesday Honor Flight will truly be an Honor for all. So, please join us for the Welcome Home Celebration Wednesday night beginning at 7:45 PM. The airplane with over 100 Vietnam Veterans will arrive at the Hawthorne Global Aviation Terminal (formerly Bama Air) at Tuscaloosa Regional Airport at 8:30 pm.”
The trip is FREE for qualifying Vietnam War Veterans. Each Guardian pays $700 for the privilege of accompanying our heroes on the Honor Flight. The Honor Flights are funded through generous donations from area companies, organizations, and individuals. Members of the Rotary Club of Tuscaloosa provide funding, resources and time to make the trips possible.
For more information on signing up as a Veteran or Guardian for a future Honor Flight or to make a tax-deductible contribution phone or text Jordan Plaster at 205-310-7579 or email at Jordan.email@example.com
Tuscaloosa Rotary Honor Flight Board of Directors
Jordan Plaster – Chairman
Alan Hartley – Treasurer
Becky York – Honor Flight Director