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HonorAir's 21st Flight Headed to Washington; Air Show Generates $350,000 Donation to Honor Veterans 
The 149 Vietnam War veterans being flown today by HonorAir Knoxville to Washington, D.C., have patrons of the April 16-17 Smoky Mountain Air Show to thank.

But officials making today's announcement of the $350,000 donation of Air Show proceeds to HonorAir say it's the other way around - it's the veterans who deserve the thanks for their service and sacrifices.

With today's flight out of McGhee Tyson Airport, HonorAir Knoxville has flown more than 2,800 East Tennessee veterans to Washington, D.C., to see the memorials built to honor their sacrifices.

Eddie Mannis, President of Prestige Cleaners and Prestige Tuxedo and founder of HonorAir Knoxville, said the donation will make it possible to serve more veterans.

Eddie Mannis

“The overwhelming response of Vietnam veterans created a demand to schedule a third flight this year," Mannis said. "Our partnership with the Smoky Mountain Air Show made it possible to add this additional flight. ... It is especially gratifying to include Vietnam War veterans in our program as their recognition was too long in coming.”

The $350,000 donation was announced as three veterans - Ely Cohen (who served during World War II), Alfred Hindman (Korean War) and Dan Campbell (Vietnam) - assisted with the presentation. 

$350,000 Raised

Knoxville City Councilman Finbarr Saunders, a U.S. Army veteran who served a tour in Vietnam, presented a proclamation from Mayor Madeline Rogero that officially designates today as Veterans HonorAir Flight Day in the City of Knoxville.

Finbarr Saunders

“It’s a tremendous privilege for me to be able to honor the sacrifices of fellow veterans and to help send off HonorAir’s 21st flight,” Saunders said. “HonorAir fulfills a special, unique role and has allowed more than 2,800 veterans to experience the memorials in Washington, D.C., that were built to honor their service and sacrifices. So I’m delighted that the Smoky Mountain Air Show was such a success and that proceeds from the Air Show will help HonorAir with its outreach to even more veterans.”

Covenant Health has been a major sponsor of all the HonorAir flights taken to date. Today, Scouts from the Smoky Mountain Council were on hand to greet veterans and escort them as they arrived at the airport in the morning. Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett also praised the veterans at today's airport send-off. 

Another HonorAir Knoxville flight is planned for Oct. 5, 2016.  Any World War II, Korean War or Vietnam War veterans interested in taking an HonorAir Knoxville flight should apply at www.honorairknoxville.com.

Honor Air Knoxville

Posted by evreeland On 08 June, 2016 at 1:44 PM