LITTLE ROCK, Ark. –– On Saturday, Oct. 20, approximately 170 World War II veterans will visit memorials dedicated in their honor during a trip to Washington, DC, , as part of the first official Honor Flight from Little Rock.
Two commercial jets have been chartered to fly 168 veterans gratis from Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, Ark., to Washington, DC., and back, thanks to major donations from Tyson Foods Inc., the Walmart Foundation and the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. This honored group, which will include veterans as old as 94, will see the World War II Memorial plus other military memorials during the day.
The public is being urged by flight organizers to be at the Little Rock National Airport terminal at 7:30 p.m., Saturday evening, to be part of a special return reception for the veterans.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to show your support of these veterans from the ‘Greatest Generation,’ as well as enjoy patriotic music and flag waving,” said Melissa Lee, a Tyson Foods attorney who is chair of the company’s Veterans Business Resource Group (VBRG), which has been actively involved in supporting the Honor Flight program.
The State of Arkansas Adjutant General will meet the flights in Washington and travel with the veterans on the tour of their memorial.
Anyone wanting to make a donation, is a World War II veteran who wants to go on a future trip or has interest in volunteering to help with a future flight should send a letter to Bill McKenzie, Tyson Aviation, 10475 Tyson Place. Bentonville, AR 72712, phone (479-290-5039 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Honor Flight Network is a national non-profit organization that began seven years ago in Ohio, with six small planes taking 12 World War II veterans to see their memorial. Since 2009, Tyson and Walmart have been the primary sponsors of five Honor Flights from the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport.