Although I was somewhat hesitant to brave the snowy and icy roads this past Sunday morning, I figured that if any members of a club were meeting on a day like this, it would be the members of the Springfield Chapter of HOG (Harley Davidson Owners) Group. I wasn’t wrong.
Upon entering their meeting hall just before 12:00 p.m., I was greeted warmly by Mr. Steve Small, treasurer, who had been expecting Dave Bauer and myself from the National Headquarters of the Honor Flight Network. We were there to receive a generous donation on behalf of Honor Flight. We are always treated warmly and offered refreshments and Dave and I were asked to come forward to speak and update these cyclists on what is currently happening with the Network and what the future holds for our program.
They were delighted to hear that we are going strong and pushing hard to get as many veterans as possible to see their memorials in Washington D.C.. To date, since the inception of our program in 2005, we have transported 117,556 total veterans, 70,150 guardians, and our National Headquarters monitors and assists 137 hubs in 43 states. Most readers will recall that The Honor Flight Network began here in Springfield, Ohio, and its founder, Earl Morse, lived in Enon, Ohio at the time.
We talked about the various ways we get veterans to their memorials, the numbers of WWII vets currently being transported, and the Korean and Vietnam War vets that are beginning to be transported. These folks are pleased to know where their money is going, and we, the National Headquarters, are pleased to have them as supporters and contributors. Their contributions mean so much.
I will also mention that these riders also donated to The Cancer Society and The Springfield Soup Kitchen. They are, indeed, an organization for others to model and we are proud to be associated with them.