What Spirit Airways does for a 96-year-old U.S. World War II hero
He was bombardier and navigator with the U.S. Air Force, fending off Nazi anti-aircraft gunners and surviving a crash that took one of his comrade’s legs.
Honor Flight South Florida helps transport the nation’s oldest veterans, who served in WWII, as well as the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam. These heroes are given a chance to visit their memorials and feel the gratitude of their country. During the trips, the veterans meet members of Congress, veteran officials and take special trips to Arlington National Cemetery, WWII Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Marine Corps War Memorial.
World War II veteran Stuart Newman, 96, made it through 35 missions as a bombardier and navigator with the U.S. Air Force.
On Saturday, he met other World War II veterans during an Honor Flight from Fort Lauderdale to Washington, D.C., that took him through the sky once again and perhaps reminded him of his B-17G Bomber days. He visited the war memorials there, conversed with his compatriots and spent time with his family.
He returned to a hero’s welcome in Florida. The daylong event was organized by Honor Flight South Florida.
Spirit Airlines (NYSE: SAVE) is partnering with Honor Flight South Florida to serve as the organization’s official airline in 2019. In the next year, Spirit will charter four Honor Flights to Washington, D.C. Approximately 340 total veterans will visit the memorials honoring their service and sacrifice to their country, all at no charge to those revered veterans.
Spirit has long supported the nation’s military and veterans while keeping their fares as low as possible. Spirit offers free bags for active duty military service members and has partnered with Honor Flight South Florida for several flights in the past. Each year, the airline also provides hundreds of free flights to wounded warriors and their families.
“We are proud to work with Honor Flight South Florida to support these dedicated veterans’ trips,” said Ted Christie, Spirit Airlines’ President. “They have done so much for our country and deserve the opportunity to visit the memorials and experience the impact their sacrifices still have on the lives of all Americans.”
“This new partnership with Spirit will permit Honor Flight South Florida to reach out to far more of South Florida’s oldest veterans to give them what many refer to as one of the best days of their lives,” said HFSF Chairman Rick Asper. “The generous support of Spirit Airlines, South Florida’s own hometown air carrier, is unique in the nation for the Honor Flight family. On behalf of these veteran heroes we thank Spirit.”
Honor Flight South Florida, Inc., is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) charity, dedicated to honoring our nation’s veterans, oldest first, from Boca Raton to Key West, for what they did for all of us 50 to 75 years ago.