Local Non-Profit Gets Donation to Fly Veterans to Memorials - NBC 7 San Diego

Local Non-Profit Gets Donation to Fly Veterans to Memorials

Honor Flight San Diego received $35,000 to help fly veterans to memorials in Washington D.C.

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    Honor Flight Receives Donation to Continue Helping Veterans

    A local organization, dedicated to honoring San Diego veterans, got a big boost on Wednesday to fly veterans to memorials in Washington D.C. NBC 7's Audra Stafford has more information. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019)

    A local organization, dedicated to honoring San Diego veterans, got a big boost on Wednesday to fly veterans to memorials in Washington D.C.

    Honor Flight San Diego received a $35,000 donation from the San Diego Downtown Rotary Breakfast Club on Wednesday at the Tuna Harbor Park, near the USS Midway Museum. 

    Dave Smith founded Honor Flight San Diego in 2010. Since then, the organization has flown more than 14-hundred local veterans, all expenses paid, to Washington D.C. to see the memorials built in their honors. Each trip costs around $250,000 which means the organization is constantly trying to raise money. 

    "The key with our Honor Flights, particularly with our WWII and Korean War veterans, time is of the essence. There's really no time to wait. So, it's important to us to get them back there just as soon as we can, or we'll miss that opportunity," said Dave Smith, Honor Flight San Diego founder.

    A couple of years ago, the organization had to cancel a flight because they didn't have the money to send the veterans. 

    Joe Renteria, 102, is a Navy veteran and lifelong photographer who went on the Honor Flight four years ago. He still remembers one moment in particular.

    "Because it was so dramatic. The beautiful sky, although it looked like it was going to rain, but the people huddled there -- it showed so much of the relationship to each other, to the dead that were there. That too would have been a beautiful shot," said Joe Renteria, WWII veteran.

    The organization is always looking for veterans to fly to memorials in Washington D.C. If you know of a WWII or Korean War veteran, you can visit Honor Flight San Diego