Clearwater, FL (April 27, 2016) – Tuesday was an exciting day for Don Skelton, a Korean War veteran who embarked on a trip of a lifetime along with 79 additional veterans. Don traveled to Washington DC on the latest Honor Flight. Don was stationed in Austria for three years where he served as a mechanic. After visiting the war memorials, the trip ended on an emotional note as Don received a special letter during his return flight from his best friend Doug. Doug and Don met in Korea on their first day of assignment. They have been best friends for over 60 years and his emotional letter thanking Don for his friendship topped the amazing experience.
President of the Guardian Association of Pinellas County and Honor Flight volunteer, LynnMarine Boltze has been on two previous trips and accompanied Don on his experience. “As a professional guardian, I have the opportunity to meet and help many veterans however; it is amazing to see the look on the veterans’ faces when they see their memorials for the first time. And nothing touches me more than their arrival back to the airport to the crowds of people thanking them for their service.”
The day is made possible by many volunteers and sponsors, like Premier Mobile Health Solutions who sponsored Ms. Boltze to accompany Mr. Skelton. Honor Flights is always looking for sponsors as every flight cost $72,000 and is always accepting applications from Veterans of all War Time service, especially the WWII era.
About The Guardian Association of Pinellas County, Inc.: The mission of the Guardian Association of Pinellas County (GAPC) is to educate and advocate on behalf of those living in an around Pinellas County, Florida who can no longer voice for themselves for reasons such as advanced age, mental or physical incapability. GAPC aims to promote the welfare and quality of service for such individuals by promoting the development and improvement of the capabilities of guardians through educational programs, lectures, discussions, and other various methods of instruction.
Membership is open to all individuals or groups that work closely with the elderly or have an interest in the guardianship process. For more information on becoming a member or services GAPC provides, please visit GuardianAssociation.org.
About Honor Flights: Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. We transport our heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill. Honor Flight of West Central Florida was established as an official Regional Hub in October 2010 of the National Honor Flight Network. The mission of Honor Flight is to provide all-expense-paid “Honor Tours” to WWII veterans to the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit http://honorflightwcf.org/.
More supporting Facts:
• Florida has the third largest population of veterans in the nation after California and Texas with more than 1.6 million veterans – 12 percent of the Sunshine State’s population 18 and over.
• Wartime veterans make up about 75 percent of Florida’s total veteran population (1.2 million).
• There are more Vietnam-era veterans than any other wartime category in Florida with more than 498,000.
• There are more than 231,000 veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq who claim Florida as their home of record.
• Florida has more than 160,000 women veterans.
• Florida has the largest population of World War II veterans in the nation with more than 164,000.
• Florida has the third largest population of disabled veterans in the nation with more than 249,000.
• There are more than 731,000 veterans over the age of 65 in the Sunshine State.
• There are 187,000 military retirees who call Florida home.