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Veterans Table - Honor Flight Maine, Part 2

Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 9:17 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -

Morse: “I have about 300 World War II Veterans, that will never see their memorial. And if you want to help me make their dreams come true -- please sign up!”

Robert: Earl Morse, Co-Founder of the nationally based Honor Flight Network, recalls pitching his idea for the program back in 2005. The once-in-a-lifetime trip and experience honors the brave men and women in our community who have served. And a journey down to D.C. to visit and pay respect at their memorials. The Honor Flight mission started off small, but has grown to include 140-networked Honor Flight programs nationwide.

Morse: "On our first flight, we took off in six tiny little planes. And when I say tiny little planes, I mean like little puddle jumpers. And a local VFW post got us a van, and we went downtown -- and all we got to see was the World War II Memorial."

Robert: From that first Honor Flight carrying just twelve Veterans, to now, having escorted over 200,000 servicemen and servicewomen down to D.C. -- the Honor Flight program celebrates and gives back to Veterans across all eras and conflicts. It is a uniquely memorable, forever shared experience for the Veteran, guardian family member, and Honor Flight staff.

Asuncion: "My first trip in 2014, was as a guardian for a World War II Veteran I didn't know. I met him at the airport actually. He didn't have any family to go with him. And we still to this day continue to stay close to each other."

Sidelinger: "It's just been a heartwarming experience and so rewarding for me to be able to honor Veterans of all ages -- and just making this possible."

Patch: “Somebody is always stopping me and asking me -- if they don’t know about Honor Flight, they find out about it. And if they do know about it, how they can support it.”

Robert: Continued community support is crucial during these times. With the onset of the pandemic, all Honor Flights have been suspended for the remainder of the year. Honor Flight has made it its mission to seek out as many Veterans as possible, in keeping the hope alive for Honor Flights to resume in the coming year. Robert Grimm, News Source 8.

[Interviews:

--Earl Morse, Co-Founder, Honor Flight Network | Retired Air Force Captain;

--Laurie Sidelinger, Board Chairperson, Honor Flight Maine;

--Joy Asuncion, Board Member, Honor Flight Maine | Retired Navy Senior Chief;

--David Patch, Board Member, Honor Flight Maine | Retired Navy Commander]

Aired: July 29, 2020

Copyright 2020 WAGM. All rights reserved.

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