Story by Lourice Angie
Two local veterans, Joe Ginley and Joe Scannello, both of Warwick, were escorted recently by Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton on an honor flight to Washington D.C. Sweeton, who funded his own costs for the trip, was their ‘guardian’ for the entire trip.
These local heroes, who served in the Korean War, were flown into D.C. by American Airlines and received nothing less than first class treatment. They had photos taken and were cheered and applauded by a crowd of military service members and well wishers during their arrivals and departures at the airports.
They shared a no-expense trip to the nation’s capital and met a significant number of Honor Flight volunteers, whose dedication was sincerely appreciated and will forever be remembered.
“If anyone who knows a veteran who served in WWII, Korea, or Vietnam to please encourage them to experience this honor,” said Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton. “They’re catered to the entire time, there’s safety, medical staff. American Airlines and their flight crew did a fantastic job. If they need additional information please feel free to contact me.”
The Hudson Valley Honor Flight is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to providing American Veterans with honor and closure for all of their sacrifices. They are a local hub of the National Honor Flight Network, which consists of over 100 independent non-profit hubs across America. HV Honor Flight flies multiple times out of Stewart International Airport and Westchester County Airport. They currently serve veterans from Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, Westchester, Rockland, Sullivan, Putnam, Pike, Bergen, and Fairfield counties. Veterans from other counties are considered as well.
The efforts produced by the organization create a very memorable experience. Their mission is to transport members of the military service to Washington, D.C., at no cost to them, to visit and reflect at the memorials that honor the service and sacrifice they’ve made. Top priority is given to the senior generation of World War II and all terminally ill veterans.
The program is Ideally designed for WWII, Korean War or Vietnam veterans and accompanying family or friends (“guardians”) who are willing to fund and secure their own transportation to Washington. Multiple tour dates are available for veterans and guardians and more than one guardian can accompany the veteran. The maximum party size cannot exceed five people, including the veteran.
As a non-profit organization, donations and volunteers are always needed and certainly appreciated. All donations to the federal, nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization are tax deductible. Contributors should consult their tax advisor concerning the financial benefits of making such a donation. For more information on future flights or to make a donation call 391-0076 or visit www.hvhonrflight.com.