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The first Western Slope Honor Flight (WSHF) was so successful and rewarding for the 110 WWII veterans who participated on the inaugural flight Aug. 25-26 that the WSHF board has decided to schedule a second flight for May 4-5, 2010.
WWII vets who signed up for but were unable to go on the first flight, will be the first to go. The WSHF board is looking to take another 110 plus vets on the next flight. And, if donations and funding continue, they plan to schedule more flights in the future, using Grand Junction’s Walker Field as the departure point.
The new board is pursuing a own non-profit status with the state of Colorado. They have elected new officers and set up committees. A lot was learned from the first flight and they hope to iron out all the little bugs that occurred so that the next flights run even more smoothly. They will use the old national Honor Flight Network for the application process until they revise their own forms. All forms should be returned to Grand Junction and not sent to the national offices in Ohio. The Vectra Bank in Grand Junction will still be the bank handling donations. That address is: Western Slope Honor Flight, P.O. Box 3950, Vectra Bank, Attn: Randy Kirschbaum, 499 28 1/4 Road, Grand Junction, CO 81502. All donations whether individual, organization or corporate would be appreciated, so that these vets can visit their memorial.
The board is also looking for 70 Guardians to accompany these vets. Guardians will have to pay their fare, $950, or can raise the funds. There will be an earlier guardian screening, selection and training process, so the individuals will able to ìassistî their vet 24/7 for the trip. Guardians must be in good health, as they will attend to all their vets needs on the plane, buses and at the memorial sites, besides assisting them to and from the hotels. It is not a sightseeing trip for these participants.
Applications and questions should be mailed to the new mailing address for the WSHF board: Western Slope Honor Flight, PO Box 3950, Grand Junction CO 81502.
Tom Kilduff, commander
Meeker VFW Post 5843