Buffalo, NY - This weekend is a dream come true for a group of Western New York veterans. They traveled with Honor Flight Buffalo to see their monument in Washington, D.C. Honor Flight Buffalo was started in 2009 by Charles Dunkle as well as Lisa and Jo-Anne Wylie.
The Wylie sisters have a very personal reason for honoring World War II veterans in this way. Their father SSGT Robert P. Wylie was a U.S. Army Aircorp World War II veteran and donated repeatedly to the World War II memorial. It took 60 years for that memorial to be built. SSGT Wylie never got a chance to see it in person. Lisa Wylie, President of Honor Flight Buffalo explains, "Had there been an honor flight in Buffalo, we could have gotten him there because everything is done for you."
The veteran's trip is paid for with guardians accompanying them to help. Guardians pay for their trip. There are also small touches that mean a lot. Each veterans receives around 20 thank you cards at mail call from family and school children. Jo-Anne Wylie, VP of Honor Flight Buffalo also organizes a welcome home that these veterans did not get when they returned from war. "When we bring them back into the airport and they cry and the patriot guard is there and the WNY maritime charter school cadets are saluting these men they just can't believe it because they've never been properly thanked." Making sure to say thank you is a lesson the Wylie sisters learned from their Dad.
If you would like to volunteer for Honor Flight Buffalo you can apply online.
The next honor flight is scheduled for June.