WWII and Korea War veterans will return home from their “Tour of Honor”
SAN DIEGO – On Sunday, Oct. 6, Honor Flight San Diego will arrive at San Diego International Airport with 64 veterans returning from Washington, D.C. The veterans will have spent Saturday visiting memorials dedicated to their service and sacrifice.
The flight will arrive at 4:20 p.m. at Terminal 2 and guests can greet veterans at baggage claim. Attendees should park in the Terminal 2 Parking Plaza and parking is free to public. Approximately 1,000 people are expected to attend the homecoming, including active duty military who “man the rails” and salute each veteran as he or she arrive.
The “Tour of Honor” flight will have 64 veterans from every branch of service; 21 WWII veterans and 42 Korea era veterans including two female veterans. Among the veterans are Purple Heart recipients, a former German Prisoner of War, a veteran who was part of the 2nd wave to land on Omaha Beach after D-Day, a Navy veteran who spent the night guarding the entrance to Pearl Harbor after the bombing, veterans who were part of the Inchon Invasion and two friends who will be visiting the Vietnam wall for the first time and will spend time with their fallen brother. One of the female veterans was a cryptologist deciphering codes during the Korea War. The youngest veteran is 84 years old and the oldest veteran is 97 years old.
This flight is different from previous flights as due to funding constraints the organization could only take 64 veterans on the trip even though there were over 100 waiting to go. The three-day trip will include visits to the National World War II, Vietnam, Korea, Lincoln, U.S. Marine Corps (Iwo Jima) memorials, U.S. Air Force memorial, U.S. Navy Yard museum and National Electronics Museum.
The veterans will stop at Arlington National Cemetery and witness the changing of the guard ceremony and female veterans will tour the Women in Military Service for America National Memorial and have a special recognition ceremony.
Honor Flight San Diego has flown over 1,300 veterans from Southern California since 2010. The flight is completely funded through donations to Honor Flight San Diego. The veteran’s trip costs approximately $2,500 for the three-day experience and due to fundraising and donations the veteran accrues no expense for the trip. When funded, the flight occurs two times each year – typically in the spring and fall. Priority is given to the most senior veterans, currently World War II and Korean War veterans, and to veterans who have terminal medical conditions.
Honor Flight San Diego was founded in 2010 by Dave Smith after he travelled as a guardian with his now late father, Arthur Smith, a USMC veteran who served during WWII. For more information about Honor Flight San Diego or to donate to the organization, please visit: www.honorflightsandiego.org.