For the second year in a row, Ford Motor Company Fund is sponsoring an Honor Flight to transport Cleveland-area veterans to the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. The World War II Honor Flight veterans – all in their eighties and nineties – will be greeted at the national memorial by members of Congress and Ford employees.
Ford Fund is covering the cost of the trip to Washington, D.C. for 50 World War II veterans from Cleveland and other parts of Ohio to experience national memorials dedicated in their honor. The trip was organized by Honor Flight Cleveland (www.honorflightcleveland.com), the northeast Ohio hub of the Honor Flight Network.
All veterans will be accompanied by a volunteer guardian who will be paying for their own trip. Frankie Lannaggi, former U.S. Marine and Process Coach at Fordâ€™s Cleveland Engine Plant, is volunteering to be a guardian for Wednesdayâ€™s flight.
â€śAs a U.S. Marine, I am honored to participate in this great program and give back to the men and women who have given so much to our country and paved the way for the freedoms we have today,â€ť said Lannaggi, â€śI am proud to be part of the Ford family who are recognizing these local veterans for their sacrifice and dedication.â€ť
In addition to the WWII Memorial, the veterans and their guardians are also visiting memorials dedicated to veterans of the Korean War, Vietnam War, Iwo Jima and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Arlington National Cemetery.
Ford Motor Companyâ€™s support for veterans started more than 90 years ago when Henry Ford led a cross-country caravan of 50 Ford Model Tâ€™s to transport disabled veterans to their convention. Since 1974, Ford Motor Company and Ford Motor Company Fund have provided more than $8 million to veteran organizations, including support for the National World War II Memorial. Ford Fund is sponsoring three Honor Flights this year, which will bring the total Ford-sponsored Honor Flights since 2011 to nine.
The Ford Veterans Network Group, one of the companyâ€™s corporately supported Employee Resource Groups, sponsors activities in support of its veterans, military personnel and their families. Ford employs more than 7,000 U.S. veterans along with hundreds of active military personnel and U.S. reservists and guardsmen.