Happy New Year! Welcome, and thank you for reading our new “Flight Briefing – One Lasting Mission” newsletter. This quarterly Honor Flight Syracuse communication will share updates, news, pictures, and, of course, our appreciation for you – our most dedicated HFS supporters, volunteers, mission guardians and veteran alumni.
It’s hard to believe how much Honor Flight Syracuse has grown in a little over two years, becoming an incredibly valued resource for the Central NY military community. HFS launched our Inaugural Mission 001 in October 2012, executed a much larger Mission 002 in 2013, and flew two successful missions in 2014. Mission 004 October 4th raised our total number of veterans honored to well over 200 (more on our most recent mission below!). This amazing growth and accomplishment would not be possible without YOUR support in volunteer time and talent as well as the individuals, businesses and organizations which provide the financial resources so essential to this project. You – our friends, sponsors, supporters, and community members – have helped honor veterans from the Greatest Generation, and transport them at no cost to Washington, DC for a day of remembrance and camaraderie.
HFS marked Veterans Day this year and benefited from the First Annual Veterans Day Dinner at the Skaneateles Country Club. We are most appreciative for the committee of men and women chaired by Rick Keyes who came forward to suggest the idea and spearhead the initiative. Dan Cummings of WSYR NewsChannel 9 shared his memories of his journey on Mission 004, and Marine veteran and Honor Flight alumnus Lieutenant Joseph Owen, Silver Star for Valor recipient for his combat action in the Korean War, spoke of his military experience. This amazing evening raised over $40,000 for Honor Flight Syracuse; we cannot thank Rick and his team enough for such a generous contribution.
In November, Loretto Foundation also named Honor Flight Syracuse a 2014 Loretto Legacy Honoree during its 10th Annual Celebration Luncheon, expressing gratitude to an exemplary organization “serving those who served.” It was truly wonderful to be recognized along with several other amazing Syracuse organizations as we all complement each other in supporting our veterans.
While 2014 was a busy and rewarding year for Honor Flight Syracuse, 2015 promises to be even better as we plan to increase the number of veterans provided an opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. and visit memorials to their sacrifice and service. Mission 005 is just a few months away, scheduled for Saturday, April 25th and our cadre of volunteers is working hard to ensure another success.
On behalf of the board of Honor Flight Syracuse, thank you for your support and look forward to seeing you at an upcoming Mission!