A regional offshoot, Honor Flight Historic Triangle Virginia (HFHTVA), was founded in December, 2008 by current president Bob Doherty, and is run by a handful of volunteers. They have transported more than 350 Virginia veterans in four trips since then.
Because of the areas' proximity to the Capitol, the "flight" is a full day motor coach excursion, currently offered twice annually. Their next Honor Flight trip is scheduled for April, 2011. Trained volunteer "Guardians" assist the veterans for the entire day, and a staff of certified Emergency Medical Technicians and/or paramedics ensures everyone's safety.
My dad, Ralph Butler (87), Newport News, participated in HFHTVA's April 2010 trip, and I accompanied him as a Guardian. He served in the Army Air Corps, a photogrammetrist, later trained in combat photo intelligence, who read aerial photos of places like Dachau.
Me and my dad by Meryl Ann Butler
caravan was made up of three motor coaches and an ambulance, and was
accompanied on the first leg of the trip by a police escort.
Motorcoach and ambulance by Meryl Ann Butler
The veterans were invited to wear their uniforms if they still fit!
One veteran arrived in full uniform. by Honor Flight Historic Virginia Triangle
In addition to the WWII Memorial, other stops on our trip included Arlington National Cemetery and the Iwo Jima Memorial.
Dad watches the Changing of the Guard, Arlington Cemetery by Meryl Ann Butler
The mast of The Maine, Arlington Cemetery by Meryl Ann Butler
Our motor coach passed by the new U.S. Institute of Peace building, under construction.
US Institute of Peace under construction by Meryl Ann Butler