ARLINGTON, Va. (WGEM) – The Honor Flight Network announced Monday that former Senator Bob Dole will serve as the first member and inaugural chair of the organization’s newly formed Ambassadors Program.
Officials state the Honor Flight Ambassadors will be a collection of accomplished leaders, high-profile personalities, and patriotic celebrities who will generate greater awareness and support of the Honor Flight Network’s mission to send veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the national memorials built in their honor.
“Senator Dole has long been Honor Flight’s biggest champion because he knows first-hand the life-changing experience of seeing our nation’s military memorials up-close in the company of fellow veterans,” said Meredith Rosenbeck, CEO of Honor Flight Network. “We are honored and grateful that the Senator is now going even further in his support, particularly when our mission has never been more urgent.”
Honor Flight organizers said every year, the Honor Flight Network takes more than 20,000 veterans to Washington, D.C., all at no cost to the veterans. The wait list for these trips has only grown in the last year as most 2020 flights were postponed due to COVID-19 precautions. The Honor Flight Network is also battling against time as our nation loses nearly 250 World War II veterans every day. Those who served in the Korean War and Vietnam War are also increasingly at risk of missing their chance to make the trip. The Honor Flight honors and arranges travel for veterans of all three generations.
“It’s certainly a privilege to chair the new Honor Flight Ambassadors Program. Since 2006, visiting with Honor Flight veterans at the World War II Memorial has been a real highlight for me,” said Dole. “The entire experience greeting and thanking these American heroes is a heartwarming one. I encourage anyone who isn’t familiar with Honor Flight to learn more about this incredible organization.”
Senator Dole served as a United States Senator from Kansas for 27 years, including his time as Senate Majority Leader. In 1996, he received the Republican Party’s nomination for President. The Senator has since dedicated his life to supporting numerous causes, including serving as national chairman of the National World War II Memorial. In 1942, the Senator joined the United States Army where he served in the 10th Mountain Division. He received two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star Medal for his sacrifices and bravery in combat.
The Honor Flight Network is currently planning to resume its trips to Washington, D.C. in the spring of 2021. Veterans interested in traveling with Honor Flight should contact their nearest hub. A map and list of the network’s nearly 125 hubs can be found on the organization’s website.