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Funds needed to fly local veterans to memorials 

An Iwo Jima Survivor at the Marine Corps Memorial.  He asked to be wheeled to the  back side so he could see it from the same location as where he was standing when he saw the original flag raising on Suribachi. Photo by Rex Thornhill.

An Iwo Jima Survivor at the Marine Corps Memorial. He asked to be wheeled to the back side so he could see it from the same location as where he was standing when he saw the original flag raising on Suribachi. Photo by Rex Thornhill.

Honor Flight planning to send 12 veterans to Washington, DC memorials

In 2007, 1,000 World War II veterans died every day. Today, so many veterans have died, it’s down to 600 a day, and they are at an average age of 90 years old, says Rex Thornhill, a board member of Honor Flight Central Coast California. “We have lost so many good men.”

Central Coast Honor FlightThornhill, a Paso Robles podiatrist, and a group of supporters formed a Central Coast chapter of Honor Flight. The Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. They transport veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill.

“It’s a life changing experience for anyone who goes,” says Thornhill, who last year accompanied local veterans Ed Monteith and Don Keefer to the nation’s capital.

“The vets fly free and the guardians pay their own way,” he says. “We are planning our first flight in May 13-15 and will be taking at least 12 veterans and their guardians,” he says. “This will be our inaugural flight. We already have more vets than we can take on the first flight.”

The price per veteran is about $1,500 and includes the flight, transportation, hotels, and food. To donate to the Honor Flight, contact Bear McGill at (805) 610-4012 or email honorflightccc@gmail.com.

The picture here shows an Iwo Jima Survivor at the Marine Corps Memorial. He asked to be wheeled to the back side so he could see it from the same location as where he was standing when he saw the original flag raising on Suribachi. I can’t imagine the feelings and thoughts that went through his head.

Photos by Rex Thornhill

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About the author: Publisher Scott Brennan

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Follow him on , Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or follow his blog.

2 Responses to Funds needed to fly local veterans to memorials

  1. Bev Collins

    Wonderful story; heartfelt memories. Alex Palos is my Father, who I was honored and privileged enough to have joined him on his Honor Flt trip. A trip of a life time!!!! I was standing with my Dad when he shared his tears; a stoic man finally able to express years of emotions held within; extremely touching to all 17 of us who were able to join him in DC.
    Anyone who is able to go on this trip will have their hearts touched and their lives changed. Having the opportunity to hear their stories is beyond words!
    I hope to be able to go again as a guardian for another veteran.
    Keep up the great job!!! May God be with you and guide each of your johnnies. These veterans deserve to be honored, they earned it.
    Prayers of thankfulness,
    Alex’s proud daughter Bev

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