Tyson announces final ‘Arkansas Honor Flight’
HIGHFILL, Ark. – May 3 will be the 11th and final Arkansas Honor Flight, Tyson Foods Inc. announced. Tyson Foods and Walmart helped organize the first official Arkansas Honor Flight five years ago.
The Honor Flight program takes World War II veterans on a one-day trip to Washington to visit memorials, including the World War II memorial which was built and dedicated to honor those who served and supported the war effort. Honor Flights from Arkansas will no longer be offered due to the advancing age and diminishing number of World War II veterans, Tyson Foods said.
“It’s been an honor and a privilege to help organize these trips,” said Bill McKenzie, director of aviation for Tyson Foods and a Vietnam War veteran, who has coordinated all 10 previous flights. “They call our World War II veterans the ‘greatest generation.’ There’s no greater satisfaction than getting to know these veterans, hearing their stories and seeing their faces when they see the memorials. It has given me an even greater appreciation for their service to our country. I’m also thankful for the positive feedback we’ve received from their families.”
A commercial jet has been chartered to fly more than 80 veterans free of charge from Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) to Washington and back. The trip was made possible through private donations and the support of Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson Foods and Walmart. Including this trip, more than 900 World War II veterans have taken part in the Arkansas program since it started in 2009, the company noted.