Villages Honor Flight says ‘thank you’ to one of its earliest supporters

Villages Honor Flight VP of Administration Gary Kadow, left, with American Legion 1st Vice Commander Al Varrone.
Villages Honor Flight VP of Administration Gary Kadow, left, with American Legion 1st Vice Commander Al Varrone.

Villages Honor Flight presented its first-ever Veterans Service Award of Appreciation to American Legion Post 347 at the Post’s regular Wednesday meeting. A certificate of appreciation and a commemorative trophy with an eagle sitting on top were given to the Post by Villages Honor Flight representatives Gary Kadow, VP of Administration, and Harry Miller, director of media relations. The award was accepted by 1st Vice Commander Al Varrone on behalf of Post 347.

“We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Post 347,” said Kadow. “They helped us get going.”

Post 347 has allowed Honor Flight to use their facility for the send-offs and homecomings.

“They take of everything, the set-up, clean up and refreshments,” said Miller. “They always have the Honor Guard out in full force to send them off and a huge number are here when the veterans return 22 hours later.”

In addition to all the volunteer support, Post 347 has also provided funding in the early days so the Villages Honor Flight could get established. Fund raisers have been held at the Post.

“Without the community’s support we don’t exist and the vets don’t go to Washington,” said Kadow.

Joe Hambright, VP of Operations for the Villages Honor Flight, agrees completely.

“We couldn’t do it without them.  The American Legion has supported us since day one,” Hambright said.

Check out video of the awards ceremony here:

The support from the community both financial and in volunteers has allowed the Villages Honor Flight to transport more than 750 veterans since its inception in 2012. For most vets that means going to Washington, D.C., for others unable to travel it means a flightless Honor Flight.

If you would like more information about the Villages Honor Flight, go to www.villageshonorflight.org. Applications for veterans and guardians are available on the website.