Atlas Helps Fly 70 Veterans to Washington D.C. on Evansville's First Honor Flight
A WWII Veteran is greeted by his fans as he returns to the Evansville Regional Airport after a day in Washington D.C.
Atlas was proud to be a part of Evansville, Indiana’s first Honor Flight on Saturday, October 25. An airplane carrying 70 World War II veterans, each accompanied by a “guardian,” took off for Washington, D.C. at 7 a.m., where the military veterans visited the World War II Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and Vietnam Memorial, as well as other famous sights throughout the city.
The trip was organized by Indy Honor Flight, a hub of the National Honor Flight Network. Having originated in 2005, the Honor Flight Network is committed to transporting America’s veterans to Washington to visit those memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices. Its goal is to assist every veteran that is willing and able visit their heroic memorial.
Indy Honor Flight recognized a need for a flight out of Evansville, as it was inconvenient to drive veterans from the area three hours north to the Indianapolis airport. Planning for the Evansville flight began in April with organizers accepting applications. The eldest veterans were given top priority, thus the 70 participants chosen this time around were all World War II veterans.
The participants were treated to breakfast at the airport before the flight, and each veteran was given a wheelchair for the day, allowing them to enjoy the trip in comfort. The veterans returned to Evansville later that evening and were welcomed home by a crowd of friends, family and other local supporters.
A crowd gathers at Evansville Regional Airport to welcome home veterans as they return from Washington.
The Honor Flight was mainly funded through donations from local companies including Atlas, who donated enough to to cover the cost of 20 local heroes, make the deposit on the 150 seat chartered plane, and sponsor an entire bus for the veterans as they toured the sites in D.C. The guardians, mostly medically trained, active duty military personnel and veterans who have previously participated in a flight, covered their own costs.
“They didn't have to be sold on the idea, they simply knew that the time to say thank you is running out fast and they did the right thing," said Grant Thompson, Director, Indy Honor Flight. "Thanks to the good folks at Atlas, the Honor Flight out of Evansville was able to set a date.”
Atlas is an active supporter of our nation’s veterans, and it was a pleasure to be able to support Indy Honor Flight in its efforts to help local veterans see the memorials built for them.