Tampa Bay Area Honor Flight Needs Guardians

Iwo Jima Memorial (Photo courtesy senate.gov)

About 75 World War II veterans are scheduled to take the next Honor Flight of West Central Florida (HFWCF). However, many of the veterans are frail and need a guardian to accompany them so they can visit the various memorials built on the National Mall.

The day will include visits to the Iwo Jima and WWII Memorials, and Arlington National Cemetery.  The veterans will also be able to visit the Lincoln, Washington, Korea, and Vietnam Memorials.  However, each veteran must have aguardian” who will be responsible for the veteran’s safety and aid such as pushing a wheelchair if needed.

The organization has chartered a plane from Allegiant Air to fly from St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport to Washington on the one-day trip scheduled Tuesday, April 3, leaving at 7 a.m. and returning at 7:30 p.m.

Guardians must apply ahead of time and are asked to make a minimum donation of at least $400 to the HFWCF operating fund. The local chapter is a 501(c)3, non-profit making donations tax deductible.

Persons interested in serving as a guardian can get more information at the website: www.honorflightwcf.org, where you can print the guardian application, and mail it to P.O. Box 55661, St. Petersburg, FL 33732.

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Two Ways to Support Those Who Serve

The MacDill Enlisted Spouses Club uses its car wash to raise money for "Daddy Dolls" given to children of deploying military.

Many folks will devote their weekend to helping people and honoring those who have served. That’s the case for two Tampa Bay organizations that have fundraisers planned as a way to support those currently deployed and those who served in WWII.

Members of the Enlisted Spouses Club of MacDill Air Force base plan to wash cars Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Advanced Auto Parts, 5902 South Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa. Money raised pays for providing a “Daddy Doll” to the children of deploying soliders, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen and Marines.

A newly formed organization caught my attention. The West Central Florida Chapter of Honor Flights is holding a fundraiser Saturday from 3 to 10 p.m. at Cody’s Orginal Roadhouse, 4360 Park St. N., St. Petersburg. the Honor Flights  started in 2005 with the purpose of flying WWII veterans to Washington D.C. for free so they can see the WWII Memorial. Chapters are operating across the U.S. Now, the bay area has one.

So, if you’re out Saturday driving around in a dirty car or getting a little hungry, these are two opportunities where you can get a chore done while supporting the U.S. military and their families.

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