South Carolina’s World War II veterans who took a weekend flight to visit the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. received national attention when they were featured in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal. As written in the Tuesday, September 8th Wall Street Journal, a group of 108 South Carolina veterans were flown from South Carolina by the Honor Flight Network where they were greeted by former U.S. Senator Bob Dole. According to the article, Dole met each of his comrades one by one, posing with them for group photos and leaning in for those in wheelchairs.
One Columbia veteran, who talked with South Carolina Radio Network, was energized in spite of the exhausting Saturday schedule. In fact, he made sure that he was at church 9 am the next morning to share his adventure with friends.
More than 90 area World War II veterans traveled to Washington, D.C. Wednesday, for a full day of visits and tours as part of Honor Flight Upstate. The group, which departed the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport this at 9 a.m.returned to the airport around 7:30 p.m. The group visited the World War II, the Vietnam, the Korean and Marine Corps War Memorials in addition to viewing the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. Former Senator Bob Dole and U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis are expected to be on hand to greet them.
A grass-roots organization, the Honor Flight Network has sprung up with the sole purpose of flying veterans of World War II to see the memorial built to mark the war in which they fought. This month alone, there will be about 3,000 veterans coming from across the nation.
The Honor Flight Network helps veterans make the trip free of charge, and by the end of the year, the organization will have flown some 42,000 such veterans. Funds come from individuals, state chapters, churches and even Boy Scout groups. The University of South Carolina students have raised more than $30,000, and donation have come from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina.
The Journal said that the South Carolina Honor flight organizer, Bill Dukes has plans to bring 800 veterans from South Carolina to Washington this year.
For more information go to their website at www.honorflightsc.com .