Puget Sound Honor Flight
Puget Sound Honor Flight’s mission is to transport Western Washington war veterans to Washington D.C., to visit and reflect at memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices.
In March of 2013 a varied group of Puget Sound area individuals, who realized they all had passion for the same cause, came together to create Puget Sound Honor Flight. With the help of the Corporate office, along with countless hours of support, advice and guidance from the Inland Northwest Honor Flight (Spokane, WA) and Honor Flight Chicago, they put in motion an inaugural trip seven short months after starting up. With over 200 World War II veterans already on an existing list of Western Washington residents, Puget Sound Honor Flight is committed to giving these heroes their “One Last Mission”.
The National Honor Flight Network
The Honor Flight Network program was conceived by Earl Morse, a Physician Assistant and retired Air Force Captain. Earl, who was working at a VA clinic in Ohio in May 2004, when the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. was completed, repeatedly asked his veteran patients if they would ever travel to visit their memorial. Unfortunately, for most of these heroes now in their late 80’s and early 90’s, it simply wasn’t financially or physically possible for them to make the journey on their own.
That’s when Earl decided to do something to help. In addition to being a Physician Assistant, he was also a private pilot. In December of 2004, Earl asked two of his World War II veteran patients if they would allow him to personally fly them out to D.C., free of charge, to visit the memorial. They broke down, cried and graciously accepted the offer. Earl then realized that there were many more veterans who would have the same reaction. He began to ask for help from other pilots to make these dreams a reality, with two stipulations to his request. The first was that the veterans pay nothing. The second was that the pilots personally escort the veterans around D.C. for the entire day. Eleven pilots who had never met his patients stepped up to volunteer.
In May of 2005, six small planes flew 12 very happy veterans out to the World War II Memorial. The responses from both the veterans and the pilots were overwhelming. By the end of the first year, the first Honor Flight hub had transported 137 World War II veterans to their memorial.
The mission and ideals of the program began to spread across America, and in February of 2006, Honor Flight Network was born. The leaders of various flying programs, and others interested in starting similar projects in their own regions, attended a summit in Washington, D.C., with over 100 people in attendance. Now, a network of participating programs is in place to assist our senior heroes. Today, we continue working aggressively to expand our programs to other cities across the nation.
Through the end beginning of 2013, Honor Flight Network has transported more than 100,000 veterans to Washington, D.C. to see their memorial. The program presently has 127 hubs serving 41 states. Due to the senior age of our heroes, and the prediction that we are losing approximately 900 of them daily, we are committed to do all within our power to make their dream a reality. Our current focus will remain on World War II veterans and those veterans from any war who have a terminal illness. However, our vision goes beyond World War II. In the future, Honor Flight Network will also pay tribute to America’s other heroes who served during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, followed by veterans of more current wars. They, too, have given so much and it’s time we show them that their efforts are not forgotten.
Please help us continue to make their dream of visiting their memorial, a reality.
HONOR FLIGHT NETWORK — our way of saying to all our veterans — one more “TOUR with HONOR”.