Charity of the Month: Honor Flight Network

The Gingrich Foundation

The Gingrich Foundation is proud to announce the Honor Flight Network as its August Charity of the Month, in recognition of those veterans who served in World War II.

The Honor Flight Network gathers Americans who fought in World War II to travel with other veterans in their areas to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorial in their honor, the National World War II Memorial.

The first honor flights took place 15 years ago, one year after the memorial opened, to help aging World War II veterans to see their long-overdue monument in our nation’s capital.

The charity’s founder, Mr. Earl Morse initially came up with the project while he was working at a Veteran’s Administration clinic in Springfield, Ohio. Shortly after the memorial in Washington, D.C. opened, Mr. Morse discussed it with many of the veterans who served in the war and found they would have difficulty making the journey to see it. Then, one day Mr. Morse, who was also a private pilot, asked a veteran if he could fly him to Washington to see the memorial, and the veteran accepted, breaking down in tears.

Not long after that trip, Mr. Morse asked other members of his aero club to assist in the effort by flying World War II veterans on their planes to Washington, D.C. Several pilots stepped up to help, and in May 2005 the group flew 12 World War II vets from Ohio to visit their memorial. From that point, the project exploded. The next year, Mr. Morse co-founded the Honor Flight Network to work with local affiliates across the country to help Americans who served in World War II make the trip to Washington, D.C. It now operates 131 hubs in 45 states.

Soon, the organization began chartering planes to transport large groups of veterans at a time.

Then in 2008, the Honor Flight Network began to partner with Southwest Airlines.
Once in Washington, veterans are met by volunteers at the airport who then accompany them around the memorial and the city.

To date, the Honor Flight Network has carried more than 245,000 veterans and 181,000 guardians to Washington, D.C. — an amazing accomplishment. On any given day, visitors to the World War II Memorial on the National Mall are likely to see these veterans and Honor Flight volunteers making their way around the site.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Honor Flight Network to cancel its 2020 flight schedule. The Honor Flight Network does important work to honor the many sacrifices of America’s Greatest Generation.

We hope you will join us in supporting the Honor Flight Network today, so that it can get back to its good work once the pandemic is defeated.