NEW WINDSOR, NY - On September 27, 2014, Venture Crew 276 traveled to Stewart’s airport in New York for the Hudson Valley Honor Flight. Joining them were Boy Scouts from three troops, cub scouts from two packs and several girl scouts.
Hudson Valley Honor Flight (HVHF) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization which honors American Veterans for all their sacrifices. They transport these heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit their memorials at no cost to them. Top priority is given to those of the Greatest Generation, that of World War II, and terminally ill veterans from other wars. Currently, over 550 World War II veterans die every day, the time to express thanks to these brave men and women is running out.
“Our crew was super excited to attend an honor flight and I personally was ecstatic. Some of our crew members and advisors had previously attended an honor flight at this airport, so they guided us,” said Stephen Rozek Vice President of Venture Crew 276.
The scouts arrived at the airport, had a snack and then went inside the terminal. Once inside they joined hundreds of people waiting to greet the veterans as well. Many groups were singing patriotic songs, making trinkets for the veterans and were obviously happy to be there. When the flight landed and the veterans started to come through the gates, the crowd expressed their enthusiasm. People were cheering and chanting patriotic slogans.
“I saw and cheered for World War II veterans from different branches including the Coast Guard, Air Force, Navy, Army and Marines, said Rozek. “Two people were so inspiring that it took my breath away. They were two female Marines, one age 96 and the other, the oldest living female Marine at 103 years of age! It took about an hour for all of the 80 veterans to come off the plane. What was truly patriotic, inspiring and just amazing to me was that I saw World War II veterans who were not on the flight that came out to welcome home other veterans.
“I spoke to some of the veterans that came off the flight. One in particular said to me that he loved the Honor Flight and hoped that many more veterans got to experience what he did that day.”
This honor flight was emotional for the veterans and those in the audience. The emotions expressed were as if the veterans were actually coming home from the war. The Honor Flight is a wonderful opportunity that is open to the public and run several times a year from different airports.
Rozek concluded, “I am so happy that I got to be a part of this ceremony and I plan on attending to many more in the future.”
More information on the Honor Flight can be found here: http://hvhonorflight.com