Honor Flight Network Launches New Hub in Bismarck
by Jennifer Anderson
Bismarck, N.D. – The Honor Flight Network today announced the launch of their newest hub, the Western North Dakota Honor Flight (WNDHF) during a news conference at the Bismarck Municipal Airport.
Western North Dakota Honor Flight is the second Bismarck-based hub in the Honor Flight Network. The Roughrider Honor Flight operated from 2009 to 2011. Nationwide since 2007, the Honor Flight Network has recognized Veterans for their service and sacrifice by transporting them free of charge to Washington, D.C., to visit war memorials.
“We owe our veterans so much,” said Sen. John Hoeven. “Expanding the Honor Flight Network to western North Dakota will help to honor the sacrifices they made for our country. This expansion will provide additional veterans with the opportunity to travel to our nation’s capital and visit the memorials that symbolize their courage and commitment to our country.”
The WNDHF’s inaugural trip is tentatively planned for fall 2020, pending the availability of funds. Veterans who register for WNDHF will be accommodated in a first-served manner, as well as by the order of the conflict in which they participated. The WNDHF is a non-profit group and will fund all expenses (currently estimated to be about $160,000) to Washington, D.C., for North Dakota’s Veterans. This program relies on donations from businesses, corporations, civic organizations and private contributors.
Jim Avard, of Mandan, North Dakota, said the Honor Flights provide an invaluable service to Veterans. A Vietnam Veteran himself, he has served as an escort for five Honor Flight events. “I’m excited to pick up where we left off,” he said. “There are a lot of tears on these trips, but it is a healing process that gives Veterans the ability to be recognized while they connect with their peers and their past.”
The WMDHF’s committee, which is comprised solely of volunteers, has numerous fundraising initiatives in the works to support Honor Flight trips. Planning is underway for an initial “Evening at The Opry” event that will be held in the Bismarck area this spring.
For upcoming event information, follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WesternNDHonorFlight/
—— Our Mission: To transport America’s Veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit those memorials dedicated to honor the service and sacrifices of themselves and their friends. ### Photo 1: Sen. John Hoeven recognizes Western ND Honor Flight board members in attendance at the hub’s inauguration ceremony held February 17, 2020, at the Bismarck Airport. (Photo by Jennifer Anderson, Western ND Honor Flight Public Affairs Committee)