OSHKOSH, Wis. — As a part of EAA’s AirVenture 2013’s Salute to Veterans activities, Old Glory Honor Flight, in partnership with American Airlines and Oshkosh Corporation, will provide a special one-time only event for Vietnam War veterans on Friday, Aug. 2. Vietnam veterans will embark on a journey from the AirVenture grounds to Washington, D.C. to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, the Smithsonian American History Museum, and the Arlington National Cemetery — at no cost
Old Glory Honor Flight Inc. has operated 17 flights for Northeast Wisconsin World War II veterans to our nation’s capitol. Three of those flights have departed from AirVenture and for the first time this year’s flight to will be for Vietnam veterans to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the end of the hostilities in that conflict.
“We are so pleased to once again partner with EAA and American Airlines to operate an Old Glory 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 the Northeast Wisconsin Old Glory Honor Flight organization.
“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.”
EAA AirVenture is July 29-Aug. 4 at Wittman Regional Airport (OSH) in Oshkosh. The American Airlines yellow-ribbon Boeing 737, Flagship Liberty, will fly approximately 100 veterans from the AirVenture grounds to Washington, D.C. as part of the Salute to Veterans activities on Friday, Aug. 2.
“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.
Those attending AirVenture that day can welcome these veterans home as they return as the final act of the day’s airshow. A special ceremony will be held immediately after the veterans’ arrival and before an evening concert by Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band, which ends the day-long tribute to veterans.
“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,” said EAA Chairman Jack Pelton. “We are honored to play a key role in this special Yellow Ribbon Honor Flight for Vietnam veterans.”
Vietnam veterans who want to experience this one-time Yellow Ribbon Honor Flight should visit Airventure.org/HonorFlight to complete the application. Veterans will be selected by random drawing and be notified no later than July 6.