General Meeting Notes – October 16, 2019

DESTINATION WASHINGTON D.C.: We have never had a fourth charter flight in a year and never two flights this close together, but we are well prepared for our next Honor Flight. Spirit charter 1941 departs for Baltimore-Washington International at 5:45 a.m. Saturday.

There are 72 veterans — seven World War II, 12 Korean and 53 Vietnam veterans — scheduled to fly. First stop: the Marine Corps/Iwo Jima memorial; then on to the Changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery; and later a visit to the National Mall to see the World War II and Korean memorials and the Vietnam Wall.

One interesting note on the Iwo Jima memorial —More than 70 years after the famous photo, there is still an interesting curiosity about the identity of those six Marines. At just about the same time we were beginning our meeting Wednesday, NBC News reported that the Marines now acknowledge that Cpl. Harold Keller was one of the Marines.

It had long been believed that Rene Gagnon was one of those six raising the flag. But a historian carefully researching the photo determined that it was Keller and the Marines agreed. The photo, the monument have had a lasting impact on the nation. It is a very popular stop on our Honor Flight tour and a worthwhile setting for our traditional group photo.

Ground crew assignments have been emailed to all “yellow shirt” volunteers scheduled to work Saturday.

Even if you are not on the flight or scheduled as a working volunteer, you can still be part of the day:

  •  Follow our veterans to the memorials with our regular updates, photos and interviews on Facebook and Instagram. Remember to “LIKE” us on Facebook and “FOLLOW” us on Instagram. Share our posts so more people get to be a part of this day in living history.

BATTLING THE TRAFFIC JAM: Congratulations to everyone who slowly found their way through the huge traffic jam on Davie Road and made it to the meeting. In case you were wondering why Davie Road was totally shut off from the north, Channel 10 News reported that a police chase ended with a car hitting several other vehicles. One man was arrested at the scene and another after a foot chase.

RECRUITING VETERANS: We can all help here. We will need to have at least 350 registered veterans (including the inevitable cancellations) on our list for four charter flights in 2020. Honor Flight often attends special events and occasionally you will see requests here for some volunteers. But you also are encouraged to attend events in your city to spread the word about Honor Flight. Many cities will be having Veterans Day commemoration events. If you have a chance, consider attending one near you and try to register some veterans for this free trip to Washington. We especially need help in finding veterans in Miami-Dade County. Vietnam veterans are now eligible, but many don’t know this. Encourage them to register on the website

FUNDRAISING: Here is another area where we often need volunteers — sometimes with scheduled events; other times with volunteers taking the initiative and planning a fundraiser. If you have ideas or are available to help with fundraising, contact Joe Ewart —

Some upcoming events:

  • Flight 19 restaurant: Tuesday, October 22, 5:30-8:30 p.m., 11103 E Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, $100 per person for hors d’oeurves, open bar, DJ entertainment and prizes.
  • Golf tournament at Davie Golf Club, sponsored by Mission BBQ, Friday, November 1; $125; the tournament is filling up quickly with nearly 80 golfers having already signed up; register at or at Mission BBQ.
  • Painting with a Purpose: Tuesday, November 5, 6:15 p.m.: Painting with a Twist sessions are fun art, not fine art. Invite your friends, sip your favorite beverage and enjoy step-by-step instruction. 50% of every $35 registration fee comes back to HFSF. Our canvas will be a blue dream catcher, signifying that you can help more dreams come true for our veterans! To register go to or search for ‘painting with a twist Plantation’ and locate November 5 on the calendar to register from there.
  • Beatles cover band “2 of Us +1”: Thursday, November 14, 7 p.m. at The Greek Joint, 1925 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; appetizers and show $40; register at or at the door; 954-929-9966.
  • Raffle for Caribbean cruise on Norwegian: Win a Caribbean cruise for two: $10 raffle tickets go on sale at Saturday night’s homecoming. Volunteers are encouraged to pick up a book (or more) of 10 raffle tickets and try to assist in this fundraising effort. Contact
  • Veterans celebration: Friday, November 8, 7:30 a.m. breakfast and special program at Peters Elementary School, 851 NW 68th Ave., Plantation. Interested veterans should email
  • Meals with Memories: Saturday, November 16, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m., U.S. Coast Guard Air Station, 14750 NW 44th Ct., Opa Locka. Free lunch for veterans and a guest. If interested, email

NEXT MEETINGS: Mark your calendars for the remainder of 2019. Meetings are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on these Wednesday nights:

November 13 — Broward College
December 11 — Plantation Fire Department, 550 NW 65th Ave.

Remember to register for meeting updates and other news at

—Tom Christensen, volunteer coordinator