Honor Flight Conyers takes off (July 15, 2011)
The Honor Flight Conyers program will take it's maiden flight Thursday morning and members of the public are encouraged to come out to the American Legion Post 77 and help send off the 25 World War II veterans in style on their day-trip to Washington D.C.
Honor Flight gives WWII veterans an all expenses-paid trip to Washington D.C. to see the WWII memorial and other monuments such as Arlington Cemetary.
The Conyers hub of the Honor Flight program will take its first flight on Thursday, Sept. 22, with 25 WWII veterans and 25 "guardians" to assist, along with two paramedics, photographer Gary Ezell, and organizers Dave and Anita Smith.
A police escort will be accompanying the Honor Flight buses, and members of the various military branches, along with the Patriot Guard and a band from Rockdale County High School will be on hand to send off the veterans.
If 5 a.m. is too early, members of the public are also encouraged to be on hand to welcome back the veterans at 10 p.m. at the American Legion Post 77, on Ga. 138 north.
Smith said she was looking forward to the trip but anxious to have the day successfully completed.
Even during the organization of this first trip, one of the veterans slated to go died several weeks ago.
"That’s why we feel time is so crucial in getting these veterans there," said Smith.
The Smiths and the volunteer board members of Honor Flight Conyers began looking into opening a local hub in the national network more than a year ago. Other hubs in Georgia, such as in Columbus or Fayetteville, had closed after serving most of the veterans in their area. The Savannah hub is still active.
For more information or to find out how to donate, go to www.honorflightconeyrs.com, call 770-483-4049, or email HonorFlightConyers@comcast.net.