What is your organization’s mission statement?
Our mission is to HONOR our nation’s senior veterans with a trip to Washington DC to visit their war memorials at no cost to them; SHARE their stories for the benefit of future generations; CELEBRATE their homecoming, affirming their allegiance and service to our country.
What population do you serve?
We serve senior Veterans from WWII and the Korean War eras and also terminally ill veterans from any era.
How many do you serve in a year?
Last year we provided a free one-day trip for 556 senior veterans.
What region or area do you provide services in?
We provide trips to senior veterans within a 100 mile radius of Columbus, OH.
How and when did the organization get started?
Honor Flight Columbus started in 2007. Our organization is a hub of the Honor Flight National Network which flew 12 veterans in 2005 to see the WWII memorial. Many of our senior veterans do not have the money, or ability to travel to Washington DC to see their memorials. Honor Flight Columbus provides the transportation and a guardian, (who at their own expense) assists and accompanies the veteran on their one day trip.
How many employees do you have?
We have no employees since Honor Flight is a 100% volunteer organization.
How many volunteers does your organization have? (click the “Service Projects” tab to learn more about volunteer opportunities)
Honor Flight involves 400 volunteers each year.
How do your programs or services help the community?
Honoring our senior veterans with an Honor Flight trip gives the veteran a sense of closure and also lets them know how grateful Americans are for their service and sacrifice. Honor Flight provides volunteers a way to say thank you and to give back to our senior veterans.
Honor Flight to Washington D.C.: We provide a free trip to WWII, Korean & terminal veterans to Washington DC to see the memorials dedicated to their service. We fly to BWI & board buses for the trip to DC visiting the WWII, Korean, Vietnam, & Lincoln memorials & the changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery. We may also visit the Air Force, Navy, Iwo Jima and the Women’s Memorials. We provide meals, water, snacks, & disposable cameras to our veterans. Wheelchairs and oxygen concentrators are provided if needed. Guardians accompany the veterans. Veterans are given a “Welcome Home” by family, friends & organizations upon returning home, thanking them for their service, shaking hands, cheering & waving signs.
Annual Honor Flight Reunion: Honor Flight Columbus provides an annual reunion for all our veterans, volunteers and sponsors in November. We have held 7 annual reunions, providing an opportunity for our veterans to renew friendships, view military displays, and serving light refreshments. Annual scrapbooks, and other displays are available for all to view. This day enables the veterans and guardians to re-connect and share their memories and stories. A program is also provided, with music, video, and this past year we had a Bob Hope impersonator entertain the attendees.
Outreach to schools and organizations: HF Columbus welcomes the opportunity to speak to groups about what we do to honor our senior veterans. Our Board and Speaker’s Bureau are available to spread the word about our Honor Flight trips and seek out applications from veterans that have not previously taken an Honor Flight. It is very important to share our veteran’s stories so all can know about their service and sacrifices that have provided us with the freedoms we enjoy today.
Name: Pete Mckenzie
Organization: Honor Flight Columbus
Work: (614) 284-4987
P.O. Box 12036
Columbus, Ohio 43212