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Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital

 

Help Central Missouri Honor Flight find WWII Veterans

Honor Flight Veterans watch Changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery.

Honor Flight Veterans watch Changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Have you heard the story behind Central Missouri Honor Flight?  Honor Flight is a local non-profit organization created to honor America’s Veterans. The local chapter is part of a nationwide effort to take our heroes to Washington, DC so they may visit their memorials. Top priority is currently given to WWII Veterans and Korean or Vietnam Veterans who are terminally ill. Veterans have already paid for this trip with their service, so they pay nothing out of pocket.

Each Honor Flight transports about 75 Veterans and 35 volunteers. Volunteers pay their own way to serve as escorts. They include non-WWII Veterans, community volunteers and medical providers. Many of the medical providers who volunteer are Truman VA doctors, nurses and staff. Two doctors go on each trip so they have one available on each chartered bus. Busses provide transportation to and from the St. Louis airport and also around the DC area. The one-day trip is full of surprises, making this quite a memorable experience.

Veterans, regardless of medical condition, are encouraged to apply. “Mobility, respiratory, cardiac and incontinence issues are not necessarily disqualifiers,” says Steve Paulsell, local Honor Flight Vice President and Flight Director. Each trip includes 35-40 wheelchairs and plenty of rest stops. “Many of these Veterans come back and say this was the greatest day of their life,” says Paulsell.

VA doctors who have volunteered for past Honor Flights include: Lana Zerrer, MD, Chief of Staff and Thomas Randoll, DO, Primary Care Provider. “It is a life-changing experience - not only for the Veteran, but also for the volunteer as it gives them an appreciation of what one the world’s greatest generation did for this country” says Dr. Randoll, a nine-time Honor Flight volunteer.

To date, Honor Flight has taken 13 flights and transported 714 Veterans to their memorial. The next Honor Flight is planned for April. More trips will follow in May, June, September, October and November. Honor Flight needs your help finding more Veterans, especially WWII Veterans. Time is precious. About 20 WWII Veterans die each day in Missouri. Share this story with your friends and family so, together, we can honor our Veterans.

For further information, visit www.centralmissourihonorflight.com or call (573) 256-1930.

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