Honor Flight of Southern New Mexico (HFSNM) was established in 2008 by business and community leaders who were devoted to honoring our veterans. HFSNM also serves El Paso, Texas. October 2017 marked our tenth flight back to Washington, DC providing veterans the opportunity to see their memorials. Our focus and priority are on honoring our most senior heroes, WWII and Korean War veterans. We do take Vietnam veterans as space allows, however, there is currently a lengthy waiting list for them. Any veteran with a life-limiting illness is given priority consideration. Through the generosity of the community, we have been able to honor over 360 since our founding.
Honor Flight's History
Honor Flight Network is the national office for the 131 “hubs” or Honor Flight chapters covering 45 states. Their role is policy development, training and support/guidance for a nationwide network of volunteers.
WWII was a dark time when freedom across the world was threatened. Sixteen million men and women responded to the call to protect our nation and the world. Many never came back. Those who finally returned came home quietly, returning to their families and lives and asking for little in return.
Honor Flight was conceived when the WWII Veterans Memorial was at last dedicated in 2004 to acknowledge what these men and women had accomplished. At that point, only one in four WWII veterans were still alive.
Earl Morse, a retired Air Force Captain, and physician’s assistant worked at the VA hospital in Springfield, Ohio. He listened as the veterans spoke of wanting to visit the memorial, but recognized their lack of financial resources or physical stamina.
Earl, a private pilot, asked some of the vets if they would like him to fly them down to see the memorial. Upon hearing the offer, many broke down in tears. The first flight consisted of 12 veterans in four small planes and Honor Flight was born.
Since 2005 the Honor Flight network has flown over 180,000 veterans from across the United States, accompanied by almost 126,000 guardians back to see the memorials dedicated to them. There are still over 27,000 veterans on the waiting list across the country.
For more in-depth information, please visit www.honorflight.org. A national map showing the states with active “regional hubs” and their contact information is available on their website.
HFSNM Board of Directors
Linda Widbur, RN