Honor Flight Arizona began its fall 2023 flying season with a special first flight Tuesday, Sept. 12.
It was the 100th trip for the organization, which has flown nearly 2,800 World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to Washington, D.C. to see their memorials.
The 100th flight had double the usual number of participants in honor of the milestone. The trip included 100 participants including veterans, guardians, trip leaders and medics.
“It’s incredible to be celebrating this achievement,” Susan Howe said, board member emeritus and founder of Honor Flight Arizona. “When we first started, we focused on one flight at a time. Now we have created quite the legacy. It’s heartwarming to know how many veterans’ lives have been changed by getting to take their flight of honor.”
Honor Flight Arizona President Rick Hardina added, “This huge milestone was only reached by a group effort.
“We are thankful to have generous donors who finance our efforts, and volunteers who help both at the airport and behind the scenes. Our flights continue to happen because of all those who are involved.”
This season’s trip dates are Sept. 12-14; Sept. 26-28; Oct. 11-13 and Oct. 24-26.
All Honor Flights include veterans from across branches of service from the Korean War to the Vietnam War. On the Sept. 12 flight, two WWII veterans were in attendance.
Honor Flight Arizona took its first flight of 11 WWII veterans in November 2009. In addition to WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans, trips have also included close to 2,000 guardians who assist the veterans along the way. Veterans from WWII, Korean War and the Vietnam War are invited to sign up for their no-cost Honor Flight.
Honor Flight Arizona is part of the nationwide Honor Flight Network. Both are 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations that are able to provide this service through private donations and corporate support.
Honor Flight Arizona was established in 2008 and is the northern/central Arizona chapter of Honor Flight Network (HFN). Its mission is to fly as many veterans as it can from Phoenix, Ariz., to Washington, D.C., at no cost to them.
For more information, visit honorflightaz.org or on Facebook, X and on YouTube.