Albany Times Union
Patriot Flight ready to fly veterans to D.C.
A total of 38 veterans have already signed up for an April 21 flight to Washington, D.C., according to Jennifer Lyons of Berne, a spokeswoman for the Capital District Patriot Flight.
The nonprofit is prepared to fly more than 50 World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, Afghanistan War and Iraq War veterans as well as Cold War veterans on the free one-day excursion so they can visit war memorials, Arlington National Cemetery and historic sites.
The veterans and their guardians and support volunteers will be flown by a Southwest Airlines aircraft from the Albany International Airport to Baltimore-washington International Airport and back. Patriot Flight is a hub of the National Honor Flight Network.
There’s still time for more veterans and guardians to enter vacant slots, Patriot Flight President Sean Lyons said.
Guardians are needed to assist veterans, especially disabled ones. Each guardian is assigned to assist one or more veterans.
Veterans fly for free, while guardians pay a $450 fee. Volunteers are also needed for logistical, administrative and other tasks, she adds.
Veteran and guardian applications can be downloaded from the organization’s website at Patriotflight.org. For information, contact Jennifer Lyons at (518) 588-5289 or Sean Lyons at (518) 3913448 or email@example.com.
Persons interested in the April 21 or fall flights as a veteran, guardian and/or volunteer can also get information at the organization’s next meeting at 6 p.m. March 28 at the Zaloga American Legion Post, 4 Everett Road, Colonie.
A preflight meeting will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 15 at the Colonie Rec Center, 2 Thunder Road.
Vets and guardians as well as their families and friends should attend the preflight meeting to go over important flight day information and receive flight day credentials and T-shirts, Lyons said, referring to the April 15 meeting. Light refreshments are planned.
Donations can help finance a fall flight. Send a check payable to Patriot Flight Inc., P.O. Box 13776, Albany, NY 12212-3776 or by Paypal via Patriotflight.org.
Nine members of the New York Guard from Capital Region communities have received medals and ribbons in recognition of their community service.
Staff Sgt. Kris Bateman of Watervliet, a 10th Area Command member, received the New York Pandemic Response Service Ribbon.
Specialist Israa Cahill of Watervliet, a 10th Area Command member, received a New York Guard Good Conduct Medal and a New York Pandemic Response Service Ribbon.
First Lt. Grace Ferris of Glenville, a 10th Area Command member, received a New York Pandemic Response Service Ribbon during recent unit training events between December 2022 and February 2023.
Officer Candidate Zach Garafalo of Albany, a New York Guard Headquarters member, received a New York Pandemic Response Service Ribbon.
Staff Sgt. John Hayden of Halfmoon, a 56th Area Command member, received a New York Pandemic Response Service Ribbon.
Capt. John Mauro Jr. of Saratoga Springs, a 10th Area Command member, received the New York State Lifetime Service Award.
Specialist Samuel Molik of Albany, a 56th Area Command member, received a New York Pandemic Response Service Ribbon.
Warrant Officer Edward Shevlin of East Durham, an 88th Area Command member, received a New York Pandemic Response Service Ribbon.
Sgt. Samantha Trejo of Cohoes, a 10th Area Command member, received a New York Pandemic Response Service Ribbon.
The New York Guard is a militia force of 500 uniformed volunteers, organized as a military unit, who augment the New York National Guard during state emergencies. They provide administrative and logistics support to the National Guard. Members of the New York Guard supported flood control efforts along the Lake Ontario shoreline in 2019 and 2020 and have been part of the statewide COVID -19 pandemic response since March 2020.
Unlike members of the New York National Guard, New York Guard members do not have a federal military role and do not deploy outside the state. New York Guard members usually train in a volunteer status and are only paid when they are placed on state duty during emergencies.
▶ News of troops and units can be sent to Duty Calls, Terry Brown, Times Union, Box 15000, Albany, NY 12212 or email firstname.lastname@example.org,