In our continuing effort to keep our many supporters up to date on Honor Flight Columbus plans and activities, this is the third of our 2022 quarterly newsletters. The newsletter is being sent to our veterans and their families, guardians, volunteers, donors, and many other supporters. We now have 6,872 newsletter subscribers. These newsletters are also posted on our website (www.honorflightcmh.org). If you wish to be added or removed from our newsletter list please let us know by sending an email to email@example.com. On Thursday, September 8, we kicked off our 2022 fall flying season. 82 of our nation’s senior veterans enjoyed a beautiful day in Washington. Below is our flight calendar for the fall of 2022.
Fall Flight Season The following flights are scheduled for the Fall of 2022: September 8 – Mission 116; Sponsored by The David Jarvis Memorial Fund October 6 – Mission 117; Sponsored by Abbott Laboratories November 3 – Mission 118; Sponsored by Battelle November 10 – Mission 119: Sponsored by Nationwide At the time of this newsletter, we have 680 veterans on our waiting list, including 252 who have already been booked on our October and November flights. As always, World War II, Korean War, and qualified veterans with terminal illnesses will be moved to the front of the line of the earliest flight for which they are ready, willing, and able. Veteran applications, details regarding veteran eligibility, and fall 2022 flight information are available on our website and/or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We intend to book at least four flights for the spring of 2023 and four for the fall of 2023 so that we can keep pace with accelerating demand. We hope to have specific dates for the spring flights by the time of our Fourth Quarter Newsletter in December 2022.
September 8, 2022 HFC Flight Veterans and Guardians at the WWII Memorial
Deputy Executive Director On September 1, 2022, we were pleased to name Beth Johnson as our Deputy Executive Director. Our Director of Veteran Operations (Megan Jacob) and Director of Volunteer Operations (Karen Melroy-Oiler) will now report to Beth. Beth began her time with Honor Flight Columbus as a volunteer running the guardian program in November 2016. She joined HFC’s staff in August 2019 as Administrative Office Assistant and Guardian Coordinator. At the end of the 2021 flight season, Beth was named Director of Office Management and Guardian Operations. During her tenure, Beth has played a central role in building 32 flights and has paired over 3,600 veterans with their guardians. In December 2021, Beth was given primary responsibility for directing day-to-day operations and flight preparation. Beth also served as flight leader for Mission 114 on May 12, 2022.
Beth Johnson with Mission 116 Veterans, Karl & David, and Guardian, Jared
High School Guardian Program
As we announced in our Second Quarter Newsletter, we launched our High School Guardian Program with our June 2022 flight and included students from Tree of Life High School on our September 2022 flight. This program continues to be exceptionally popular with both our senior veterans and the students. Any high school interested in participating in this program should contact us at email@example.com. To qualify for the program, a school must have an introductory event for students (e.g. a presentation by HFC staff and/or veterans to explain HFC and its mission). All student guardians must be nominated by their respective schools and must meet all HFC guardian requirements. Any school is limited to two students at no cost. Please address any questions through the email address noted above.
L to R: Ben Valentine (Tree of Life student guardian), John Rorabaugh (Vietnam Veteran), Bob Broderick (Vietnam Veteran), Bob Horner (HFC Executive Director), Joe Failla (Vietnam Veteran), Dominic Cavello (Vietnam Veteran), and Noah Komual (Tree of Life student guardian)
Director of Volunteer Operations Karen Melroy-Oiler began her full-time tenure as our new Director of Volunteer Operations. Karen and her husband, David, are long-time HFC volunteers. Updated information regarding volunteer opportunities will be on our website the week of September 12 at the following link www.honorflightcmh.org/get-involved - then click "volunteer". The site will include an application and required training information.
World War II Veterans During the early spring of 2022, HFC launched an initiative to identify as many World War II veterans as possible who are ready, willing, and able to take an Honor Flight. To date we have contacted 193 VFW and American Legion Posts, 173 Senior Residence Facilities, and 545 churches across the State of Ohio. We continue to reach out to additional facilities by letter and through Executive Director site visits/presentations. We began our fall season by flying five World War II veterans – our largest number on a single flight in years! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a World War II or Korean veteran that you would like to suggest for an immediate booking and/or if you would like to request a site visit/presentation by the Executive Director. In the event that a World War II veteran is located outside of Central Ohio, HFC will assist in any overnight stay needs. All World War II veterans are also invited to a pre-flight dinner the evening before their flight.
Don Harris (WWII veteran) with his guardian, support and HFC staff members at dinner at the 94th Aero Squadron the night before Mission 113 (April 14, 2022).
Reunion for 2022 Flights The reunion for all 2022 flight veterans will be conducted in the first half of 2023. We will send reunion details to all applicable veterans during the first quarter of 2023.
2021 flight participants enjoy the camaraderie at Motts Military Museum
We are thankful for our ever-expanding community of veterans, guardians, volunteers, and donors. We are rapidly growing each of these groups and implementing plans to serve as many veterans as possible and to regularly deploy large numbers of new guardians/volunteers. To that end, we have increased the number of new guardians on fall 2022 flights by 25% compared to 2021 flights. We will continue to expand the percentage of new participants as appropriate (with veteran safety and enjoyment as the preeminent factors) going forward. If you have any questions regarding the guardian/volunteer programs please contact Beth and Karen, respectively – see email addresses below.
Your Honor Flight Columbus Staff
Bob Horner, Executive Director:
Beth Johnson, Deputy Executive Director:
Megan Jacob, Director, Veterans Operations:
Karen Melroy-Oiler, Director, Volunteer Operations: