Founding Fathers Story
The national World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. was finally completed in May of 2004, 59 years after the wars conclusion. The dedication was televised and it quickly became the topic of discussion among his World War II veteran.
Earl Morse, a physician assistant and Retired Air Force Captain. Earl wanted to honor the veterans he had taken care of for the past 27 years. After retiring from the Air Force in 1998, Earl was hired by the Department of Veterans Affairs to work in a small clinic in Springfield, Ohio near Wright Patterson AFB. Earl repeatedly asked these veterans if they would ever travel out to visit THEIR memorial. Most felt that maybe eventually, but unlikely. They may make it to D.C., perhaps only with a family member or friend.
As summer turned to fall and then winter, these same veterans returned to the clinic for their follow-up visits. Earl asked if they accomplished their dream of visiting the World War II Memorial. By now, for most of the veterans he asked, reality had settled in; it was clear to most that it simply wasn’t financially or physically possible for them to make the journey. Earl personally took some of the veterans to the memorial with his pilot buddies from Wright Patterson AFB fulfill their veterans dream. This trip also made national news and created the Honor Flight Network program and hubs across the country.
The Honor Flight Network
The Honor Flight Network established in 2005 now has 135 operating hubs in 42 states! Honor Flight of Southern Indiana received approval into the Network in January 2015 as the 133rd HUB!
HFSI Hub Timeline
The Honor Flight Documentary “One Last Mission” inspired local Hub Founder Ashley Gregg to bring awareness of Honor Flight to our local community through Gentiva Hospice involvement in the “We Honor Veterans Program”.
Began networking to make this a reality! Mostly finding interested volunteers at the Tristate Military Resource Network. All were eager to make this DREAM COME TRUE! Jerry Clewlow jumped on board as Co-Chair-now our President leading the way!
Eager committee of volunteers had their first meeting and began functioning as Evansville Committee for an Honor Flight
Grant Thompson of Indy Honor Flight began mentoring us through the process.
October 25th – Our first flight, EVV1, departs out of Evansville Regional Airport.
Obtained 501c3 status as Honor Flight of Southern Indiana, Inc.
From 2015-2019 we have flown twice a year; spring & fall. In 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions all Honor Flights nationwide were grounded.