Archive for the ‘Newsletter’ Category

Carthage Community Rallies Around Veterans

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

The Carthage community gave support to three North Country veterans who participated in Mission 4 with Honor Flight Syracuse in October 2014. The men, who fought in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam, were among 60 veterans on the flight from Syracuse to Washington, D.C., to visit the national monuments. Carthage sent their veterans off with a motorcade to Syracuse. Lundy Services Medical Transportation donated a large bus for Carthage community members to be in Syracuse for the Welcome ceremony.

“A couple of missions ago, one WW II veteran went on a flight and he came back and inspired Carthage to get the word out to the veterans,” said American Legion Auxiliary Unit 789 president Deborah Atkins. Informative sessions about the program were offered at the Carthage Basset-Baxter American Legion post 789 and Dionne-Rumble Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7227. The organizations joined together for a fundraiser. They received support and donations from the community and local businesses including Carthage Federal Savings and Loan and Five Below store, in Watertown. “The outpouring of support from our community and their help to get the word out was astounding,” said Atkins. “We do use American Legion and VFW to start outreach. That, in turn, has gotten the word out to others.”

Atkins hopes more veterans will apply for future missions, “Some of them are leery about getting something for free. A lot of them don’t use computers. We provide them with answers, and help them gather together their information and help them submit their application.” Answering veterans’ questions about the trip, providing them with pamphlets, and showing them videos from previous missions during the informative sessions all helps in getting more veterans on board with the mission. Still, for others, Atkins says, the attention is overwhelming, “We have some vets who don’t want any limelight whatsoever. They wanted to make it their own, quiet thing.” Atkins gives them the reassurance they need to make the journey.
After they returned back from visiting the monuments, “Our vets were very thankful for the whole thing. They were happy to see a lot of the veterans and their neighbors there welcoming them home from the flight. It was a very emotional day for all of them,” said Atkins.


Saturday, January 10th, 2015


Since Honor Flight Syracuse (HFS) formed in 2012, we’ve brought more than 300 veterans to Washington, DC to visit their memorials. This massive undertaking would not be possible without dedicated volunteers, amazing Guardians, wonderful medical staff and strong corporate support. Since day one, SRC, Inc. has led the way with their commitment to HFS.

The first step was to find funding needed to get the first flight off the ground and SRC stepped-up to the plate to provide critical financial resources for Mission 001. SRC has been a major corporate sponsor on every HFS mission since and their support goes beyond financial as they provide volunteers and assistance to the group in every possible way.

“SRC employees are part of every mission – from the early morning send-off, to acting as Guardians, to the amazing welcome home celebration at Hancock after an emotional day in Washington, D.C.,” says Honor Flight Board President Randy Flath. “This program began as a dream to honor veterans from the Greatest Generation and beyond, and when SRC joined our efforts, the dream became a reality.”

The SRC backing is widespread throughout the organization—from President Paul Tremont volunteering and encouraging others, to CFO Phil Fazio being an actively involved board member, to the employees and their families. More than 100 volunteers, like John McMakin, an Engineering Lab Manager for SRC and an Air Force veteran, who heads the HFS Mission Departure Team, support each mission. Katie Hatch, senior corporate reputation specialist, also puts in countless hours of her own time to coordinate logistical details and promote the HFS objectives. In addition to the above assistance, SRC supplied HFS with a paid intern for the summer, providing much needed data management and marketing support.

“SRC is proud to support Honor Flight in Syracuse and around the country,” Paul Tremont said. “Teaming with the military and veterans is at the core of SRC’s mission and philanthropic focus. Our employees, many of whom are veterans themselves, look forward to each flight and are pleased to give back to those who served our country.”

SRC has encouraged other corporate sponsors to join the cause and asks your organization to consider doing the same. Additional contributions are needed to increase the capacity on each flight as time is of the essence to reach our aging veteran population. There are many opportunities for companies to get involved. If you’d like to learn more about corporate sponsorship, please contact Jeff Bastable.

From left: Paul Tremont, Allen Naples, Terri DeBottis, Phil Fazio

Mission 004: Accomplished; Mission 005: Cleared for April 25

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

On October 4, 2014, Honor Flight Syracuse completed its fourth mission. Sixty-three veterans from across CNY traveled to Washington, DC with their comrades and guardians. The o’ dark thirty departure was no trouble for our heroes thanks to dozens of cheery volunteers that helped with check-in and security at the airport. After a warm welcome at DCA, the group spent the morning touring the WWII, Korean, and Vietnam memorials. Witnessing the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery was one of many highlights of the trip. After a stop at the Iwo Jima memorial, HFS also visited the Air Force Memorial for the first time. Just when our veterans thought their day was winding down on the short plane-ride back to Syracuse, they were surprised with a mail-call with dozens of personalized letters from students. Our flight was greeted by our largest crowd to date—hundreds of friends, family, and community members all came out to give our veterans well-deserved welcome home. The 15-hour day was long, but very memorable for our aging veterans.

Mark your calendar for Mission 005 – April 25, 2015. As the urgency to serve our aging veterans grows daily, we’re pleased to share that HFS will charter larger airplanes for our 2015 flights. Up to 80 veterans will travel on each of our upcoming missions. We’re always accepting applications, so please encourage veterans to apply for a future flight (priority is given by age and health). We hope to see you for a big Mission 005 Welcome Home at Hancock Airport on April 25!

HFS Board Letter

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

Dear Friends,

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!


Honor Flight Syracuse