“We had more than 100 vets waiting to go, some of them older than 100,” Saundra Cima, a volunteer with Honor Flight told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
“It was very disappointing to have to tell them the trip is off.”
Because of a lack of funds, Honor Flight San Diego — a nonprofit dedicated to shuttling World War II veterans to Washington, DC through free trips to see national monuments — had to cancel a trip originally scheduled for May.
According to the organization, it takes about a quarter of a million bucks to take 100 veterans on a trip to the capital for three days and two nights.
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To raise money for another flight, the group is hosting a “Legends & Legacies” fundraiser on April 9 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Fairbanks Ranch Country Club in Rancho Santa Fe. Tickets are $100 each. The event will feature dinner, Big Band music, auctions and a keynote address by Mac McLaughlin, president and CEO of the USS Midway Museum.
Honor Flight started in 2005 in Ohio as a way to take vets to Washington to see the World War II Memorial, which had opened the previous year. The idea spread to more than 40 states. The one in San Diego started in 2010 and has organized 17 flights taking a total of 1,063 vets.
For many of the vets, the trip is emotional. They typically receive standing ovations at airports and get asked by strangers young and old to pose for photographs. At the World War II Memorial, they sometimes shed tears in front of a wall decorated with 4,048 gold stars, each one representing 100 American service members killed during the war. Surrounded by other vets, some of them share combat experiences they’ve kept bottled up for decades.
Click on the following link to learn more about Honor Flight.