Fifty WW II veterans welcomed home after Villages Honor Flight

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A determined crowd hung on through a long night to welcome home local veterans coming home on a Villages Honor Flight. A delayed flight kept the group of 50 World War II veterans and their Guardians from returning home to American Legion Post 347 until 2 a.m. today. Dance Fusion, Flashback and the Dueling Divas (Sue Schuler, Dawn and Ralph … [Read more...]

Off Broadway Players donate $10,000 to four worthy area causes

Ray Leggiero, president of the Off Broadway Players theater group (center) gave a total of $10,000 in donation checks to (l - r) David Howe (Silver Springs Sozo Kids), John Driscoll (Honor Flight); Carrol Neal (Lady Lake Christian Food Pantry) and Gary Kadow (SOS -- Save our Soldiers).

Ray Leggiero, the well known, ultra-talented Villages singer and stage performer, had the pleasure of handing out four checks, totaling $10,000, to worthy local charities, on Thursday at The Villages' Paradise Recreation Center, and nothing could make him more pleased. "This is what it's all about," he said, " helping local people in need." When … [Read more...]

Blackston group donates $3,000 to support Villages Honor Flight

David Blackston, left, and Drew Blackston, right present a $3,000 check to Jerry Lemerise of Villages Honor Flight.

Blackston Financial Advisory Group presented $3,000 to Villages Honor Flight Saturday evening at American Legion Post 347. David Blackston said he made the donation in part because of his late father who served in the Philippines in World War II. "These veterans did so much for our country," Blackston said. "It is an honor to be associated … [Read more...]

Honor Flight takes unprecedented number of WWII veterans to D.C.

Al Allen, left, and Edward Pastucila have their hands shaked at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Fifty World War II veterans capped off a whirlwind trip to Washington D.C. and back with a thunderous motorcycle escort into a rousing welcome-home ceremony at American Legion Post 347. Everywhere the veterans and their 50 Villages Honor Flight Guardians went Sunday they were given a hero's welcome. "It's been an incredible trip," said former … [Read more...]

World War II veterans, Guardians eager for Honor Flight in two weeks

Final Attempt

Marvin "Bud" Murdock considers himself a lucky guy. During World War II, he served aboard Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton's converted yacht. "The other guys in the Navy were sleeping in hammocks. We had mattresses with springs," he said. In two weeks when he takes off on Villages Honor Flight, University of Florida Navy ROTC student … [Read more...]

CERT completes CPR-AED training for Honor Flight Guardians

The Villages Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) recently completed two of four classes offering CPR-AED training to the Honor Flight Guardians who accompany WWII veterans on their flights to Washington D.C.  Guardians who have never been CPR certified or who want to be re-certified are given a three hour course that teaches the proper … [Read more...]

Letter to the Editor: Thank you to the community for support

To the Editor: The Villages Parrot Heads and Cody's Original Roadhouse  recently sponsored an event to salute Villages Honor Flight (VHF).  The mission of Honor Flight is to send our war veterans to Washington DC, without cost to the veteran,  to see the memorials dedicated to their service and to thank them for the sacrifices they have made. … [Read more...]

WW II veteran to take Honor Flight with teen about to begin Army service

Bob Dawson, left, and Tyler Recker both signed up for the military at age 17. They will travel together in April on Villages Honor Flight.

Bob Dawson and Tyler Recker both signed up for the military at the tender age of 17. It was 1943 and Dawson of the Village of Hadley would go on to serve 26 years in the Navy. Recker, now 18, will depart for basic training this summer. The two men will make the journey of a lifetime in April when they travel together to Washington D.C. on … [Read more...]

Villagers will perform ‘Cabaret’ to benefit Honor Flight, SOZO Kids

Cabaret will play at the Savannah Center from April 8 until April 12

KC Productions, formerly KK Productions, will bring the Tony Award winning version of Cabaret to The Villages for a limited engagement. Nearly 50 Villagers will help put on the show, which will run from April 8 until April 12, 2014 at the Savannah Center. Tickets are currently on sale at the Villages Box Office. The event will benefit both The … [Read more...]

Villages Honor Flight Guardians, WWII vets meet for lunch

World War II veteran Tom Lindsey, left, and his Villages Honor Flight Guardian Joe Nolan will be traveling to Washington D.C. in April.

Joe Nolan of the Village of Amelia and Tom Lindsey of Stonecrest will be taking off together next month on a Villages Honor Flight. Nolan, who served 10 years in the Navy and 25 years in the Army, will serve as a Guardian for Lindsey. During World War II, Lindsey was known as a "Remington Raider." It was a sarcastic nickname given for … [Read more...]

Villager, father who fought in WWII prep for April Villages Honor Flight

World War II veteran Robert Closs and his daughter Linda Price will travel together in April on Villages Honor Flight.

Veterans and their Villages Honor Flight Guardians came together Sunday afternoon in preparation of their April 27 trip to see the war memorials in the nation's capitol. The pre-flight meeting was held at Colony Cottage Recreation Center. Twenty-two of the Guardians for the flight will be women. Guardians are assigned one-to-one with veterans … [Read more...]

Villages Honor Flight receives $6,500 in donations

Members of the American Legion Post 347 and World War II History Club presented checks totaling $6,500 to the Villages Honor Flight group on Monday morning

The Villages Honor Flight made large strides toward their financial goals for 2014 on Monday afternoon at Colony Cottage Recreation Center. The organization, which helps veterans take an all expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. to visit veteran memorials, received two separate checks totaling $6,500 from the Sons of the American Legion Squadron … [Read more...]

Newest group of Honor Flight Guardians taking first step in journey

Villager Harriet Dawson has signed up as a Guardian for Villages Honor Flight.

The newest group of Villages Honor Flight Guardians took their first step on what promises to be a long but rewarding journey. The Guardians met this morning at Colony Cottage Recreation Center for the first of a series of meeting aimed at getting them ready to escort World War II veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit the nation's war … [Read more...]

WWII veterans turn out to reminisce about Honor Flights

Charles and Eva Lundberg at Friday's reunion. (Ron Clark photo)

Villages Honor Flight held its reunion for the Fall 2013 Missions on Friday at SeaBreeze Recreation Recreation Center. About 250 veterans, wives, guardians, volunteers, family and friends gathered over coffee and donuts and reminisced. Among those attending the event were Charles and Eva Lundberg of the Village of Rio Grande. Charles had … [Read more...]

Villages Honor Flight to fly more veterans to D.C. in ’14

This photo was taken on the June 2013 Villages Honor Flight.

Villages Honor Flight is putting together its 2014 schedule and plans to fly 25 more veterans than it did this year. The plan for 2014 is for four flights of 50 veterans, 50 guardians and accompanying staff. The flights will take place in April, June, September and November. The April 27 flight date has been set and June 29 is tentatively … [Read more...]