The financially struggling nonprofit that arranges trips for military veterans from Southern California to memorial sites in Washington, D.C., announced Thursday that it has raised enough funds for one visit this year and possibly two.
Honor Flight San Diego, which had to cancel a trip scheduled for this spring because of a lack of money, said the USS Midway Foundation donated $125,000 at a fundraiser held on Sunday. Also, the Green Foundation said it would match donations through the end of this month, up to $100,000.
The new funding will pay for a trip scheduled in September, and the organization hopes to be able to plan a second, according to Honor Flight.
Honor Flight takes aging World War II veterans to the memorial for that conflict on the National Mall. About 100 veterans are on a waiting list for the next trip.
“Our supporters understand how urgent our mission is to get our most senior veterans to Washington, D.C., while they are still able to travel,” said Julie Brightwell of Honor Flight San Diego. “We are so grateful to those generous donors who stepped up in a big way to allow us to honor these senior heroes.”
Honor Flight San Diego has flown 1,063 veterans to the nation’ capital since its inception in 2010.
The three-day trip and includes visits to the National World War II, Vietnam, Korea, Marine Corps-Iwo Jima and U.S. Air Force memorials, along with the museum at the U.S. Navy Yard.
The veterans also stop at Arlington National Cemetery to witness the changing of the guard ceremony. Females in the tour also go to the Women in Military Service for America National Memorial.
The trips cost about $2,500 per veteran.
Honor Flight San Diego also put out a call for World War II veterans, or those from any era who are terminally ill, to sign up.
The organization said once World War II veterans have been accommodated, it will turn its attention to those from the Korean conflict.
–City News Service