Hudson Valley Honor Flight Fundraiser Draws Large Support

More than 600 World War II veterans die each day. The Hudson Valley honor flight program gives those heroes who are still with us, the opportunity to experience the trip of a lifetime. Briggette Sayegh explains.

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- On Sunday, more than one hundred people attended a fundraiser at the Middletown Lodge to give veterans the chance to never forget. Veterans like Edward Collins, who served in World War II.

"I'll never forget. Overwhelming, very emotional. It was such a super day. I wish I could do it again," said the 92-year-old.

The Hudson Valley honor flight, which gives veterans the chance to visit war memorials in Washington D.C., takes three trips annually and can cost up to $60,000 per flight.

"A lot of them can't believe it because it's been so long and they're so far removed from the actual time when they served. And a lot of them didn't get any fanfare when they came home," said Rich Tierney, the veterans committee chairman at the Middletown Lodge.

"Many of them never had the opportunity to go down. So we felt that while they are still here we wanted to give them that honor that they never received," said Bill Skennion, the vice chairman for Hudson Valley Honor Flight.

On Saturday, more than 60 veterans and and their guardians hopped aboard an honor flight that took off from Stewart Airport. Korean War veteran George Strecker was one of those people.

"I'm not a person who gets emotional a lot but down in my hear and down in my feeling I just couldn't believe what I had seen and how it worked out," said the 82-year-old.

A trip, proving that it's never too late to say thank you to the brave men and women who have served this country. 

The next Hudson Valley honor flight will depart from Westchester County Airport next month.

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