Commentary: Honor Flight of Southern New Mexico extends our heartfelt thanks to the communities in Southern New Mexico for your kind support of our organization. Because of your generosity and commitment, our all-volunteer organization was able to take 27 WWII, Korean and Vietnam War veterans to Washington, DC in early October to visit their war memorials at no cost to them.
This flight marked our tenth anniversary and so many of you helped make it the best. Some of you helped us plan Mission Ten, others helped us locate and contact eligible veterans, many stepped forward to be guardians to ensure our veterans had a safe, comfortable, and memorable trip. Still others of you sent us off on departure day in style and then welcomed us back home with patriotic enthusiasm. Donations of time, talent, and in-kind products contributed greatly to our success. As a result of your generous participation in our Adopt-A-Vet program,
100% of our veterans had a full sponsorship. We wish that each of you could have witnessed firsthand the impact that this trip of a lifetime had on our veterans. The following comments from our Mission Ten veterans and guardians are representative of the many we received.
From a WWII Army veteran: “People told me about how wonderful the trip was, but to me it was even better than that. I just couldn’t believe it. The thing that impressed me the most is when we came into an airport and everyone there was clapping and cheering us and shaking our hands. That was really, really thrilling for me.”
From a Korean War Navy veteran: “I really enjoyed the trip. The Korean Memorial was beautiful. I was sitting there in my wheelchair and all these Korean children came over, stood in line, shook my hand and bowed. It answered for me why we went to Korea. Those children were so happy.”
From a son acting as a guardian for his WWII Army veteran father: “We had the most wonderful time ever; some of the memories that have been jogged are amazing.”
From another son acting as his WWII Army veteran father’s guardian: “Dad and I are still reminiscing over the memorable time we had with the entire group. I cannot say enough about your team and the care, consideration and thoughtfulness they show all the veterans. You should all be very proud of what you have accomplished over the years and know that everyone on your team is of great character.”
From a Korean War Army veteran: “I always felt before I went on this trip that maybe veterans weren’t thought too much of. But by the time we finished the trip, going through the airports and how different people stood up and so forth, I thought maybe there are some that do care for the veterans. The trip was fantastic. You couldn’t ask to be treated any better.”
From a first time guardian: “I want to thank you for this great opportunity to be a part of something so important. I will treasure it as one of the outstanding events of my life.
From a three-time guardian: “This was the best EVER. My veteran was quite impressed with the organization of it all and the teamwork of everyone involved. You get gold medals from all of us.”
At Honor Flight of Southern New Mexico, we call our trips to DC “One more tour – with honor.” We simply cannot do what we do without the strong support of our communities. So thanks to all of you: mission accomplished!
The Board of Directors and Volunteers
Honor Flight of Southern New Mexico