Veterans Table - Honor Flight Maine
Morse: "I mean from day one when we first started looking at this, if we weren't going to be able to do it safely -- if we weren't going to give a moderate level of reassurance or assurance to the family and to the veteran that we will bring you home safely -- we weren't going to do it."
Robert: The mission of the nationally-based Honor Flight Network, has always been firmly rooted in giving back and honoring the brave men and women for their service and great sacrifice to our country. The Honor Flight program offers one final tour to those who served, with a journey down to D.C. to visit and pay respect at their memorials. During these challenging times the pandemic has critically impacted the Honor Flight program. With all honor flights suspended since March, one must hold out hope for our Veteran heroes.
Sidelinger: "We are on a mission that is running out of time. And especially with this virus, this COVID virus, it has grounded our flights for the year. So all of us are heartbroken to some extent, but we understand the severity and necessity to be safe. And but we are eager to keep our veterans holding onto the hope that April, May, June we will be taking off and they will be going to their memorials."
Robert: A key component of the Honor Flight Program, is searching for and seeking out our local Veterans who may be unaware of Honor Flight Maine, and the other 140 Honor Flight Network programs nationwide.
Sidelinger:"That's our mission now, to also find as many veterans that are out there. So that when we are up and running in the Spring, that we're going to have even more applications and more veterans to be able to honor."
Robert: Despite COVID-19, the unbroken efforts of the entire staff and Board at Honor Flight Maine carries us all forward in making sure we are always giving thanks and honoring our veteran community.
Asuncion: "It's so important that these men and women have that opportunity, at no cost to them to go."
Patch: "When you go down there, whether they're tourists -- whether they're young, whether they're old -- all of them show such a respect for the veterans. It's just, it's incredible. They are in fact rock stars for a weekend."
Sidelinger: "At this particular time, the virus makes it so that we can't fly. But for Honor Flight Maine we are still going to be very busy, working diligently to find veterans -- to get Honor Flight even stronger than it already is."
Morse: "It's phenomenal -- it's a godsend -- it's a blessing, not just to the veterans -- it's a blessing for us."
Robert Grimm, News Source 8.
--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 8, 2020