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Get Involved – Honor Flight

 In Get Involved

If you’ve been around the National Guard more than a few years, you might have meet “Troop Greeters”.  I came in and out of Bangor, Maine several times, and was met by the Maine Troop Greeters each and every time. Even if it was 0200, someone was there. Lots of those folks were World War II vets and some were in wheel-chairs or could barely walk.

http://usoonpatrol.org/assets/mc/Bangor3.jpg

from http://usoonpatrol.org

(Side-Note: The Maine Troop Greeters have sent off or welcomed almost 1.5 million troops since they started in May, 2003. Day or Night, Rain of Shine.)

“Incredible group of people, but what’s that got to do with me getting involved in Indiana.”, you say?

Well, those same folks (World War II, Korea & Vietnam Vets) who welcomed us all home a two in the morning not need some help from you! Enter Honor Flight:

IHF_Logo_Round_175

Honor Flight is a national initiative to organize and transport Veterans to Washington D.C. the see their memorials together.  Their priority right now is World War II and Korea vets, but terminally ill patients also get preference. Sounds awesome, right? So here’s what they need, and how you can help:

1. Volunteer – Honor Flight needs volunteers to help with a bunch of tasks: Sending off and welcoming home the Veterans as they travel to and from D.C., answering phones, application data entry, making arrangements, etc.  This is the easiest way to be involved.

from Tampa Bay Times

from Tampa Bay Times

2. Guardians – This requires a lot more from you, but it’s an incredible service if you have the time and money to swing it. Guardians are the folks who escort the Vets to D.C.  You need to be “Fit, Fast and Healthy” being able to push a wheelchair for at least 5 miles, run for help, etc. It also requires an interview, and costs $450.00. It’s much more of a contribution than just volunteering, but it’s an amazing opportunity.

from http://honorflightsi.org/photo-journal/

from http://honorflightsi.org/photo-journal/

3. Sponsors – If you’re REALLY well heeled, or represent a larger organization, you can sponsor a flight. Best just to talk to the folks at Honor Flight if this is up your alley.  Contact Jim McLaughlin, at chairman@honorflight.org.

There are a few options depending on where you are in Indiana:

1. Indianapolis & Central Indiana –

Indy Honor Flight (Plainfield, IN)

2.  Northern Indiana

Honor Flight Northeast Indiana (Huntertown, IN)

3. Southern Indiana

Honor Flight of Southern Indiana, Inc. (Evansville, IN)

4. Lafayette

Greater Lafayette Honor Flight (Lafayette, IN)

If you’re looking for a way to be more involved in the Veteran / Military Community, take a look at Honor Flight!

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