GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) In less than three weeks a special Honor Flight will take veterans to our nation’s capital – to see the memorials built in their honor. It’s being called the Flight of Champions, aimed at helping these heroes heal.
Inside the Lambeau Field Atrium details announced for an upcoming Stars and Stripes Honor Flight for 240 veterans and alumni from the Brewers, Bucks and Green Bay Packers.
“While we do play different sports our teams all have one thing in common, that’s great respect for those who have served or are serving in the military,” said Green Bay Packers President Mark Murphy.
“What a treat it is to be a part of this very special day for our veterans,” said Paula Nelson, president of Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.
The morning of October 19 two planeloads of veterans and alumni from the Bucks and Brewers will fly out of Milwaukee headed to Washington, D.C. At the same time, a third plane of veterans and Packers alumni will leave from Green Bay.
“This is an honor for me to be a part of this, I can’t wait to hear the stories the veterans have,” said former Packers player Bill Schroeder.
And together all will spend the day visiting war memorials built in their honor – a trip this veteran took two years ago.
“They’ll be tears, laughter, sadness and joy, but it really is a special day,” said Vietnam veteran Owen Veldboom.
Since 2008 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight has taken 7,200 local veterans on these free trips. But this is the first time the three professional sports teams have joined together in a Flight of Champions. Murphy says the Packers organization is honored to take part.
“It’s important for us to give back and to recognize the veterans for the sacrifices they make,” Murphy said.
Important too for the community to fill Austin Straubel International Airport later that night when the Green Bay flight returns.
“We need you in that concourse to welcome back these veterans who are so deserving of that welcome home that some never received,” said Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach.
“I would encourage any veteran that hasn’t gone on a flight to sign up, get registered and get ready for the best day you’ve had in a long, long time,” said Veldboom.
The Green Bay Honor Flight is expected to touch down around 7:30 p.m., October 19. All are invited to come to the airport to welcome these veterans home.