As cheers and applause greeted more than 100 World War II veterans entering the Valdosta Regional Airport last month, many folks may have figured that Honor Flight South Georgia had come to a successful conclusion.

After all, within a matter of weeks, more than $100,000 was raised, a plane chartered, more than 100 veterans registered, dozens of people paying for the privilege to volunteer as Guardians for the veterans, a trip from Valdosta to Washington, D.C., to see the World War II Memorial and back that same day, folks had reason to assume that Honor Flight was over.

That first flight, however, was not the end. It was the beginning.

After a bit of rest from the first flight, Honor Flight South Georgia returned to work in full force last week, raising money, registering veterans, speaking to area groups, and planning the second Honor Flight South Georgia trip to Washington, D.C.

The second Honor Flight trip is scheduled for Aug. 11, with registration nearly full for the next group of more than 100 other area World War II veterans making the trip. Fund-raising has also topped more than $120,000 which is almost enough to cover the second flight.

But Honor Flight continues its fund-raising looking past the scheduled Aug. 11 trip to the possibility of three or four Honor Flight journeys from South Georgia.

Organizers say they want to raise enough money until every willing regional World War II veteran can travel, free of charge, to see the memorial in their honor.

That’s the idea of Honor Flight: Offering the trip, three meals, seeing the World War II Memorial and other sites, enjoying the camaraderie of other World War II veterans’ company for a day, and, most of all, paying tribute to the sacrifices these veterans made at one of the most crucial junctures in human history.

The World War II Memorial was built to honor all World War II veterans. Honor Flight South Georgia was created to honor the World War II veterans from our communities.

The Valdosta Daily Times is a sponsor of Honor Flight South Georgia.



HONOR FLIGHT

South Georgia chapter of the Military Officers Association of America is sponsoring South Georgia Honor Flight, with the local American Legion Post 13 serving as the fiscal entity.

DONATIONS: Tax deductible donations may be sent to: American Legion Post 13, P.O. Box 1005, Valdosta, Ga. 31603.

TO REGISTER A WORLD WAR II VETERAN, to become a Guardian volunteer, or to schedule a presentation for your organization, please call (229) 219-7281; or (229) 219-7213; or visit the Honor Flight posting at The Valdosta Daily Times Web site (www.valdostadailytimes.com).

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