Halpatiokee DAR presents $1000 check to Southeast Florida Honor Flight (l to r) Norma Reubert, Vice-Regent; Colleen Brown Kimball, Regent; Todd Tucker, Ground Ops Director, SE FL Honor Flight, & Lt., Martin County firefighter; John Cantiello, Honor Flight volunteer, & Lt., Martin County firefighter; Pam Tubbs, treasurer; and Shirley Frank, Second Vice Regent, Halpatiokee DAR.
STUART — The Halpatiokee Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution presented $1000 to the Southeast Florida Honor Flight Nov. 18. at the Yacht & Country Club of Stuart.
Veterans (mostly WWII Veterans at this time) are flown to Washington, DC to visit and reflect at their memorial. Top priority is given to our most senior patriots – WWII Veterans and veterans who are terminally ill. Funds are raised to make sure that every one of the special individuals flies absolutely free. Their journey to Washington, DC includes bus transportation, meals, t-shirts, and any other amenities that are required to travel comfortably. Disabled veterans are also welcome, and with advanced arrangements, complimentary wheelchairs, oxygen, and medical staff are available.
Every trip is escorted by a team of well-trained volunteers and guardians, who personally accompany this elite group of visitors on the aircraft and to their memorial. The volunteers and guardians pay their own way ensuring that 100% of the proceeds go to the mission.
Formed in 2008 to originally service Florida’s Treasure Coast, SE Florida Honor Flight has grown to include the following counties: Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, Broward, Dade and Monroe, covering over 7,000 square miles in Southeast Florida, it is one of the largest Honor Flight hubs in the United States.
Todd Tucker, board member of Honor Flight and Ground Ops Director, accepted the check on behalf of the Honor Flight program. “Southeast Florida Honor Flight Inc. flies World War II veterans to see their memorial in Washington, D.C.,” explained Tucker. “Our nonprofit raises money throughout the Treasure Coast and Southeast Florida. Nearly every cent donated goes to the achievement of our mission to honor and thank veterans – especially now our WWII Veterans – by bringing them to Washington DC, at no cost to them, for a day of honor and to visit their memorial. This $1000 means that we can send 2 veterans on our next flight on May 12, 2012. We are pleased and honored that Halpatiokee DAR chose to recognize our program.”
On the day of the flight, buses filled with veterans, volunteers and staff, leave Stuart for Palm Beach International Airport to board the flight to Washington, D.C. Other volunteers come to see them off and greet them on their return that evening. “Even moving through the airports, people salute the veterans,” Tucker adds. “It’s very moving, and a day the vets never forget when they see the grandeur of the memorials, and the respect they receive as they visit them.” To learn more about Honor Flight SE FL, visit http://www.honorflightsefl.org.