STUART — Southeast Florida Honor Flight takes to the skies again to recognize the contribution and sacrifices made by our nation’s WWII and Korean War veterans with an Honor Flight on Saturday, September 1st , the third of four flights for 2018. This special one-day tribute, which will honor 82 local veterans–14 from WWII and 68 from the Korean War–will leave Palm Beach International Airport at 6:00AM to spend the day in Washington, DC and return that Saturday evening. Every Honor Flight is designed to fly local veterans to Washington, DC to visit and reflect at the memorials built to honor their service and sacrifices. 
 
The day that many veterans say is one of the best days of their lives begins early with a 4:30AM check-in of veterans, their guardians and Honor Flight staff. The chartered American Airlines Airbus 321 flies into DCA where the group will board four police-escorted motor coaches. The day’s agenda includes visits to the Air Force Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery for the Changing of the Guard Ceremony, the World War II Memorial and the Korean War Memorial. 
 
The September 1st trip is made up of veterans who served during WWII and the Korean War (with a few serving in both Korea and Vietnam) from these military branches: 46 veterans from the Army, 10 Navy veterans, 15 Air Force veterans, 8 Marine Corps veterans and 3 veterans from the Coast Guard. Just a few of the wartime/service positions represented are tank gunner, cook, radio operator, special agent CIC, aircraft mechanic, flight engineer, infantry, tail gunner, flight instructor, welder, Japanese linguist, crypto equipment maintenance, parachute rigger, construction foreman, plumber, tank driver, stenographer, truck driver, veterinary officer, fire control expert, mail clerk, radio maintenance, diving and explosive ordinance disposal.  Veterans on this trip served wherever they were ordered, whether that was stateside or in combat in battles around the globe, including: Central Europe Campaigns, Battle of Leyte, Battle of the Chosin Reservoir, the May Massacre, Battle of Punchbowl, Battle of Heartbreak Ridge.
 
In Honor Flight tradition, the public is invited and encouraged to show how they remember these veterans by welcoming them home from Washington at “Operation Homecoming” at Palm Beach International Airport, the evening of Saturday, September 1st. All are invited to greet the veterans’ arrival and give them a true welcome home, a welcome that most never received years ago. Bring signs of thanks, flags, cheers and handshakes.
 
Operation Homecoming takes place at Palm Beach International Airport, Level 2, Concourse A/B. The Honor Flight will arrive at PBIA at 7:20PM. Early arrival is recommended. Please come be part of a heart-warming evening. This red, white and blue welcome home tops off a day that most veterans say ranks with the day they were married and the birth of their children.   
 
For more information on Operation Homecoming, please call 1-855-FLYAVET (855-359-2838).
 
Southeast Florida Honor Flight needs the public’s help to find local WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans who have not yet taken an Honor Flight. Without a federal veteran database, the organization relies on word of mouth, public education via presentations and civic and veteran groups to find these veterans to sign up for their Honor Flight. If you are, or if you know of a WWII, Korean War or Vietnam War veteran who would like to take their Honor Flight (and has not already done so), please either call 1-855-FLYAVET (855-359-2838) or fill out the veteran application online at www.honorflightsefl.org. Top priority continues to be given to WWII veterans and terminal veterans of any war. 

Honor Flight also always needs those who wish to give back as guardians—trip escorts for the veterans–for the four flights per year. For those interested, please visit www.honorflightsefl.org and complete the online guardian application. It is an extremely meaningful day for both guardian and veteran. 
 
Southeast Florida Honor Flight, along with the 133 other hubs in the nationwide Honor Flight Network, is dedicated to flying America’s veterans to their respective memorials in Washington, DC, free of charge to the veteran. Southeast Florida Honor Flight is a 100% volunteer organization based in Stuart, FL and serves Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, Okeechobee and Palm Beach Counties. For more information, to get involved or donate, please visit:  www.honorflightsefl.org, or www.facebook.com/honorflight , or call 1-855-FLYAVET (855-359-2838).
 
The next scheduled 2018 Honor Flight for Southeast Florida Honor Flight is October 13th. 

This article was distributed through Treasure Coast Business, a news service for the readers and advertisers of Indian River Magazine.