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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS Feed First Honor Flight for Vietnam Vets Set for AirVenture
Honor Flight
The Honor Flight welcome home ceremonies at AirVenture in recent years have been packed with emotion and pride.
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May 23, 2013 - Since 2009, Old Glory Honor Flight Inc. has operated 17 flights of World War II veterans from Northeastern Wisconsin to Washington, D.C., memorials built in their honor. Three of those flights departed Wittman Regional Airport during EAA AirVenture, with the veterans returning to a heroes' welcome from AirVenture attendees.

This summer for the first time, Yellow Ribbon Honor Flight, in partnership with American Airlines and Oshkosh Corp., will bring a group of Vietnam veterans to our nation's capitol. This special, one-time flight commemorates the 40th anniversary of the end of hostilities and will give 100 veterans the opportunity to visit the powerful Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and other sites honoring their service and sacrifice. EAA will host the flight on Friday, August 2, during AirVenture as part of the Salute to Veterans activities throughout the day.

"We are so pleased to once again operate a Yellow Ribbon Honor Flight mission out of AirVenture in Oshkosh, and we are especially excited to have the opportunity to pay our respects and show our gratitude to another set of extremely deserving veterans," said Drew MacDonald, president of Old Glory Honor Flight. "As a nation, we never properly thanked the Vietnam veterans and as a result these veterans never received the recognition and respect that they so richly deserved for the incredible sacrifices they made for this great country.

"Old Glory Honor Flight's motto is that 'it's never too late to say thank you' and we are excited to turn those words into action for this very special group of heroes during this one-time-only event on August 2."

Early that morning, a special American Airlines yellow-ribbon 737 aircraft, Flagship Liberty, will fly 100 Vietnam veterans from the AirVenture grounds to Washington, D.C. After a reception greeting them at Reagan National Airport, the veterans will embark on a day-long tour of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, the Smithsonian American History Museum, and Arlington National Cemetery.

"American Airlines has helped host numerous Honor Flights carrying WW II veterans to our nation's capital.  On the 40th anniversary of the end of hostilities in Vietnam, it is an absolute honor for us to partner with Old Glory Honor Flight on this 'historic first' to take 100 Vietnam War veterans to Washington, D.C., to give them a proper welcome," said Capt. Jim Palmersheim, who leads American’s Military and Veterans Initiatives.

The veterans will return to AirVenture on Friday as the finale of the day's air show. Upon arrival on Phillips 66 Plaza they will be greeted by thousands of AirVenture attendees, receiving the welcome home reception they deserved so many years ago. A very special ceremony will be held immediately after the veterans' arrival, and an evening concert by Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band ends the Salute to Veterans daylong celebration. The Lt. Dan Band concert is hosted by the Disabled American Veterans and the EAA Warbirds of America.

"EAA is proud to host the Old Glory Honor Flight for the fourth consecutive year in what has become a vital part of our annual Salute to Veterans at AirVenture Oshkosh," said EAA Chairman Jack Pelton. "We are honored to play a key role in this special Yellow Ribbon Honor Flight for Vietnam veterans."

The Old Glory Honor Flight, Northeast Wisconsin's hub of the Honor Flight Network, recognizes WWII and Korean War veterans for their service and sacrifices by providing a memorable, safe, and rewarding tour of Washington, D.C., memorials at no cost.

Vietnam veterans who wish to participate in the special August 2 Yellow Ribbon Honor Flight need to complete an application. As this is a one-time-only event for Vietnam veterans, applications received by July 1, 2013, will be entered into a random drawing. For privacy purposes, and to allow Old Glory Honor Flight to continue to concentrate on our most senior wartime veterans, all applications received but not selected will be shredded.

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