On June 9th, 55 veterans and their guardians left Southwest Florida International Airport for a quick trip to Washington D.C. Sponsored by Rotary District 6960 and the Marco Island Sunrise Rotary, these veterans, many from World War II, had a chance to view both the WWII Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial
The 55 veterans, all from Southwest Florida, were greeted by a send-off committee of Rotarians and an Honor Guard salute at the airport in Fort Myers. Each veteran passed through a 200 foot long display of American flags as they readied to board their flight. A welcoming committee greeted the veterans as they arrived in D.C.
Sponsored by the Honor Flight Network, a non-profit organization, “created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. We transport our heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top priority is given tothe senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill.”
Each veteran was accompanied by a guardian. Jim Prange of Marco Island Sunrise Rotary remarked, “It’s called ‘Honor Flight,’ but today the honor was all mine. I accompanied 93 year old WWII veteran, and friend, Herb Savage to Washington D.C. as a part of a program sponsored by my Rotary Club. It was unbelievably cool!”
Jim Prange’s daughter, Amber Prange, a teacher at Marco Island Academy High School, also served as a guardian for veteran, Jack Hall.
National fast food chain, Chik-fil-A provided a lunch for the veterans, accompanied by a tour of the memorials. The veterans were taken back to the airport and flew home to Southwest Florida on the same day.
Rotary District 6960 and the Sunrise Rotary of Marco Island were deeply honored to take part in paying tribute to our nation’s heroes.