May 23, 2018 – Washington Co., WI – Stars and Stripes Honor Flight (SSHF) will fly the third of three spring Honor Flights on Saturday, June 2 when the “Neumann Companies Stars and Stripes Honor Flight” takes off for the nation’s capital.
“It is our honor to fly such an incredible group of local heroes to Washington, DC to see their memorials,” said Paula Nelson, president of Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. “Our community is ready to give them the “welcome home” they have waited for, and to remind them that their service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.”
Veterans from Washington County participating in the June 2 flight include: Herman Ross Sr., Vietnam War Navy, of Hubertus, Ralph “Buzz” Schlass, Vietnam War Army, of Jackson, and Melvin Schultz, Korean War Air Force, of Slinger.
The Southwest Airlines 737 aircraft will depart Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport at approximately 7 a.m. on flight day, bound for Dulles Airport in Washington, DC with 70 local veterans (and their guardians) on board.
On that day, Stars and Stripes Honor Flight will welcome four WWII veterans, 23 Korean War veterans, and 43 veterans of the Vietnam War.
Veterans who will be taking their Honor Flight on June 2 include a 95-year-old female WWII Navy veteran, a Vietnam War Marine Corps gunnery sergeant, and an engineer who served two tours of duty on river patrol boats in Vietnam.
The flight is sponsored by the Neumann Companies, a family-owned company committed to developing residential communities, green building and solar energy. “Neumann Companies is grateful to be able to support the June Stars and Stripes Honor Flight,” said Matt Neumann, CEO of Neumann Companies.
“Our veterans are nothing short of American heroes, every one of them. We owe our freedoms to those who are serving and have served in the military. This is our small way of saying thank you to those who have served.”
After the planes land at Dulles Airport on flight day, the veterans will board coach buses to tour the WWII Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Air Force Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Wall, and more. The day will also include viewing the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. A DC Park Police escort will ensure that the veterans do not spend time stuck in traffic.
“It is our honor and privilege to take these local heroes to Washington DC and to give them an entire day of thanks,” Nelson said. “So many of our veterans have never been thanked for their incredible service to our country so many years ago. We need to not only thank and honor them before it is too late to do so; we also need to reassure them that their service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.”
Prior to the June 2 flight, Stars and Stripes Honor Flight has flown 5,832 local veterans on these trips to Washington, DC since 2008, and has honored more than 50 veterans locally who were not able to fly. As an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff and no offices, the organization is proud to share that more than $.96 of every donated dollar goes directly to flying and honoring veterans.
The June 2 Honor Flight will be the organization’s 46th “mission.”
Honor Flight is a national program with more than 130 hubs from coast to coast. The WWII Memorial did not open until 2004 and many veterans are unable to visit Washington DC without assistance. The average age of a WWII veteran is 93 years old, and only five years separate the average WWII veteran from the average Korean War veteran. Nationally, hubs in the Honor Flight network have taken well over 180,000 veterans to see their memorials.
Timeline of activities for the Saturday, June 2 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight:
5:00 am –Veterans and their guardians begin check in at Mitchell Airport’s main concourse
5:45 am – National Anthem and boarding entertainment by Waukesha teen a cappella group ”Vintage Mix”
7:00 am – Flights depart for Washington Dulles Airport, water cannon salute on runway
9:30 am (ET) – Flights arrive at Dulles Airport, load buses for DC tour
6:30 pm (ET) -Return to Dulles Airport, load plane for departure back to MKE
8:30 pm (CT, approximate) Return flights land at Mitchell Airport, veterans deplane for parade through the airport’s main concourse. The Oak Creek High School Band will provide spirit for the Homecoming parade.