WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) proudly welcomed 25 Veterans from West Virginia to the nation’s capital for the sixth “Always Free Honor Flight.” The Veterans’ trip to Washington, D.C. included a tour of the Capitol and visits to the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam War Memorial.
“Many of the veterans on today’s trip were visiting our nation’s capital for the first time. I was honored to welcome them to Washington and thank them for their service,” said Senator Capito. “Without the sacrifices of these veterans, we would not enjoy the many freedoms we cherish today. As the daughter of a World War II veteran, I want to thank all veterans, from the bottom of my heart, for their selfless service to our nation.”
“It is an honor to welcome 25 courageous West Virginia Veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials made in their honor,” Senator Manchin said. “We could not enjoy the freedom and liberty we do today without the commitment and sacrifice of the Veterans who have served and sacrificed throughout history. West Virginia is one of the most patriotic states and these West Virginia Veterans truly embody the Mountain State’s history and contributions to safeguard America’s freedom. This special honor flight is just one way for us to honor and share our deepest gratitude for their service as they tour the Capitol and the monuments and memorials built in their honor.”
Of the Honor Flight Veterans, two served in World War II, four served in the Korean War, one served in both the Korean and Vietnam War, 14 served in the Vietnam War and four served after 1964. They were accompanied by six JROTC Cadets volunteering as guardians from southern West Virginia high schools, the President of the Denver Foundation and Little Buddy Radio, Dreama Denver, and the “Always Free Honor Flight” organizer Pam Coulbourne, Steve Coleman, Board Member & Official Photographer of the Always Free Honor Flight and the Denver Foundation, in addition to Veterans’ family members and medics.
The Honor Flight Network is a nationwide effort that raises funds to ensure Veterans have the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C. free of cost to see the monuments that were built in their honor. In West Virginia, the “Always Free Honor Flight Network” was established thanks to the Denver Foundation and Little Buddy Radio, located in Princeton, West Virginia. These non-profit organizations were founded by Bob Denver – who played Gilligan on “Gilligan’s Island” – and his wife Dreama, a West Virginia native.