The Times West Virginian

February 2, 2014

Honor Flight funding going ‘very well’

Communicating with veterans is now focus

By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Each day brings the May 10 Clarksburg Honor Flight closer and closer with more funding coming in every day.

Organizers are certain the trip that will take veterans to the memorials in Washington D.C., will happen.

Delbert “Butch” Phillips, who is raising the funds for the trip, said organizers want to encourage veterans to take this trip because it is at no cost to them. He said they expect the flight to be fully funded come May 10.

“The funding is progressively getting very well,” he said. “What we needs is veterans to apply.”

Phillips said World War II and Korean War veterans get first priority because they are the oldest of all veterans. He said if someone knows of a veteran that hasn’t been to see the memorials in Washington D.C., that were built in their honor, to inform them about the upcoming Honor Flight.

“Now we’re focusing on communicating with veterans and letting them know this is going to happen,” Phillips said.

Phillips said a little over half of the veterans that this flight can take have already applied. This flight will take 100 veterans from the North Central West Virginia area.

The flight will also take 50 guardians, $250 each, who will assist these veterans throughout the day as they travel to eight memorials.

Phillips said when the veterans return from their trip, they will be welcomed at the North Central West Virginia Airport in Bridgeport. He said anyone who would like to greet those who have served our country when they return can do so.

“We invite friends and family and the public to be at the airport at 8:30 p.m. on May 10 when the veterans come back to welcome them home,” Phillips said.

Phillips, who served as a guardian on an Honor Flight, said when the plane returns to the airport and the veterans are greeted by a large crowd, they get emotional.

“There were two very emotional times,” he said. “When they got off the plane at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport they got emotional. When we landed in Huntington and they were greeted by honor guards, Boy Scouts and family, that was very emotional for all the veterans.”

The May 10 Clarksburg Honor Flight leaves at 8 a.m. from the North Central West Virginia Airport in Bridgeport and returns at 8 p.m. the same day.

Any veteran or guardian wanting to apply for the Saturday, May 10, Clarksburg Honor Flight can contact Aaron Hawkins at 304-363-4486, Butch Phillips at 304-363-8125, or Misty Poe, managing editor at the Times West Virginian, at 304-367-2523 or by email at mpoe@timeswv.com. They can also stop by the Times West Virginian office at 300 Quincy Street, Fairmont.

Those interested can also apply at www.honorflighthuntingon.org under applications.

For those who cannot make it to the Times West Virginian or are unable to access a computer, there will be an application inserted into every issue of the Times West Virginian on Monday, Feb. 3. All applications can be mailed to Clarksburg Honor Flight, 54 Country Road 67, Scottown, OH 45678.

Email Emily Gallagher at egallagher@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.