Honor Flight ini­tia­tive for vets de­serves sup­port

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - VOICES & OPINION - By An­thony Ama­bile An­thony Ama­bile is a Korean War veteran and res­i­dent of Tamarac.

I am one of a planeload of World War II, Korean War and Viet­nam War vet­er­ans who were for­tu­nate enough to be in­vited on a one­day air­plane trip to Wash­ing­ton, D.C. by the Honor Flight South Florida, a non-profit vol­un­teer or­ga­ni­za­tion.

The April 14 trip was the most co­or­di­nated and or­ga­nized event I have ever at­tended, and I have yet to meet a sin­gle veteran who has made this trip who didn’t con­sider it a once-in-a-life­time mem­o­rable event.

But the pur­pose of this let­ter is not to re­gale you with the events of the day, but rather to im­press upon your read­ers why this wor­thy or­ga­ni­za­tion needs pub­lic sup­port.

Un­like some non-prof­its, this or­ga­ni­za­tion is strictly run by vol­un­teers and when you con­sider the man­power needed to hold one of these flights — each veteran has a guardian who is re­spon­si­ble for his or her well-be­ing for the en­tire day from 4 a.m. un­til 8 p.m. — to bus, po­lice, air­port and fed­eral park ser­vice per­son­nel, in ad­di­tion to the costs for bus, plane, food and all in­ci­den­tals, you can well un­der­stand the chal­lenge of each flight.

What is es­pe­cially amazing is that there are no salaries and the only fixed ex­pense of this or­ga­ni­za­tion is the cost of post of­fice box rental. It re­ceives no fed­eral funds and must rely on fundrais­ing to spon­sor these trips. That is why I be­lieve it is so im­por­tant that ev­ery­one make an at­tempt to fi­nan­cially sup­port them. They are ded­i­cated to hon­or­ing our vet­er­ans from all wars and con­trib­ute greatly to the men­tal well-be­ing of our he­roes.

I wish to pub­licly thank the or­ga­ni­za­tion and es­pe­cially my guardian for the day, Sherry Wood­house.

I urge ev­ery­one to con­trib­ute what­ever they can af­ford to this wor­thy cause. The num­ber of trips and vet­er­ans they can af­ford de­pends en­tirely on the suc­cess of their fundrais­ing.

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