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Cornelius News

Honor Flight seeks sponsors, donations



Natale “Dee” Doria

March 8. By Dave Vieser. Queen City Honor Flight is accepting donations to honor WWII, Korean and Vietnam veterans by flying them to visit memorials and monuments in Washington, D.C.

Stephanie Bradley, president of Queen City Honor Flight, whose dad was a Marine, began the Charlotte group early last year.

It usually takes a year to 18 months to get a group a trip organized “but we managed fill a 737 with over 80 veterans guardians and our medical team for our inaugural Oct 7th, 2017 flight within just a few months,” she said. Twenty were Purple Heart recipients.

There was plenty of help; each veteran goes with an escort. But it takes $70,000 to $80,000 to get the veterans—who travel free—safely to Washington, D.C. and back. The day-long itinerary includes chartered bus transportation from Washington National to virtually every war monument as well as a box lunch and snacks.

Bob Elliott

Last year Cornelius residents Gene McKinney, who served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam era, and Bob Elliott, a Korean War veteran, went on the trip.

Korean War and subsequent veterans were not given the same welcome home that World War II veterans received.

“It was the start of where people were tired of fighting,” Elliott said.

Nico Iannelli, an Aquesta Insurances executive and the Queen City Honor Flight flight director, said veterans are American Heroes regardless of which war they served in.

“They were called. They served. They fought for our country and freedom. It is our time to show these great heroes our most humble appreciation,” Iannelli said.

Queen City is one of two Honor Flight Hubs in North Carolina, the other is based in Asheville.

There is already a waiting list of veterans waiting to participate in the upcoming flight set for May 26.

Air Force Monument

There is no cost for a veteran to go on an honor flight. Queen City is funded with cooperate sponsorships and donations.

Queen City Honor Flight is a 501(c)3, so donations are tax deductible. To sponsor a veteran or make donations go to  www.qchonorflight.org or visit any Aquesta Bank location.

Checks can be mailed to Queen City Honor Flight, PO Box 2487, Cornelius 28031.