Villages Honor Flight soars during its first-ever ‘flightless’ adventure

The Lamers bus wheelchair hoist was given the 'thumbs up' by several 'Flightless Honor Flight' veterans.

The 15th Honor Flight, held Saturday, was very different. The 15 participating veterans, mostly from World War II, and their guardians, saw the military monuments and key landmarks in Washington D.C.; witnessed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and marveled at the Park Police in action.So, why was this different? … [Read more...]

Public encouraged to turn out for ‘flightless Honor Flight’

Villages Honor Flight organizers are encouraging the public to turn out to support a “flightless Honor Flight” on Saturday.The event will recreate the Honor Flight experience for 15 veterans and their 15 guardians who won’t actually leave The Villages.The public is asked to turn out for the sendoff at 10:15 a.m. and the homecoming at 1:30 … [Read more...]

Community’s support being sought for ‘flightless Honor Flight’

Villages Honor Flight volunteers Joe and Barbara Hambright cheer on the vets with granddaughters Hanalei and Havana.

Villages Honor Flight organizers are hoping the public will turn out to support a "flightless Honor Flight" on Saturday, Sept. 27.The event will recreate the Honor Flight experience for 15 veterans and their 15 guardians who won't actually leave The Villages.These elderly veterans have a variety of health problems which prevent them from … [Read more...]

Villages Honor Flight World War II Veterans receive warm welcome

Villages Honor Flight

Members of the American Legion Post #347 Honor Guard were out in force Thursday night, displaying many flags to welcome 25 World War II veterans and their guardians home from their September Honor Flight. To these guardsmen, no matter how many times they participate in Honor Flight ceremonies, it is always special to be able to give the World War … [Read more...]

Homecoming celebration Thursday for WW II veterans on Honor Flight

World War II veteran Don Fox is welcomed home by wife, Mary, on the Sept. 8, 2013 version of Villages Honor Flight.

A homecoming celebration for Villages Honor Flight will be held beginning at 9 p.m. Thursday at American Legion Post 347 in Lady Lake.Entertainment will be provided by Scooter the DJ, the Villages Twirlers, the Village Cheerleaders and Clown Alley 179.Buses carrying the returning veterans are expected in the 10:30 p.m. range.The event … [Read more...]

Villages Honor Flight seeking golfers for Nov. 22 fundraising event

Villages Honor Flight

The Villages Honor Flight Annual Golf Tournament is the organization's largest fund raising event of the year.  The date for the event has been set as Nov. 22 at   Del Webb Spruce Creek. The rain-or-shine event starts with registration at 11 a.m., lunch, opening ceremony and noon shotgun start. Dinner, prizes and auction will follow. Del Webb can … [Read more...]

Alumni of Villages Honor Flight gather for reunion at Eisenhower

Marvin Jasper and Cathy Eichelsdoerfer at Saturday's Honor Flight reunion.

Villager Cathy Eichelsdoerfer spotted Marvin Jasper wearing a World War II veteran ball cap last fall at Crispers in Southern Trace shopping plaza."You need to go on Villages Honor Flight," she said to him.He didn't seem too impressed.So Eichelsdoerfer, who had already served as a Guardian on two previous Honor Flights, … [Read more...]

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...]