Sun City Elks sponsor Honor Flight

Veterans visit Washington D.C. memorials

Posted 6/9/23

Honor Flight Network honors America’s veterans by inviting them to visit Washington D.C. memorials.

This story requires a subscription for $6.99/month.

Already have an account? Log in to continue.

Current print subscribers can create a free account by clicking here.

Otherwise, click here to subscribe.

To Our Valued Readers –

Visitors to our website will be limited to five stories per month unless they opt to subscribe. The five stories do not include our exclusive content written by our journalists.

For $6.99, less than 20 cents a day, digital subscribers will receive unlimited access to, including exclusive content from our newsroom and access to our Daily Independent e-edition.

Our commitment to balanced, fair reporting and local coverage provides insight and perspective not found anywhere else.

Your financial commitment will help to preserve the kind of honest journalism produced by our reporters and editors. We trust you agree that independent journalism is an essential component of our democracy. Please click here to subscribe.

Charlene Bisson, Publisher, Independent Newsmedia

Please log in to continue

Log in
I am anchor

Sun City Elks sponsor Honor Flight

Veterans visit Washington D.C. memorials


Honor Flight Network honors America’s veterans by inviting them to visit Washington D.C. memorials.

Without government sponsorship, the program is funded by individuals, corporations and organizations that recognize the veterans’ sacrifices. One such organization is Sun City Elks Lodge No. 2559. By conducting fundraising events, proceeds sponsor Elks member veterans on an Honor Flight AZ hub trip. Eight Vietnam-era veterans were sponsored in May.

Call sign “Mission 99” took two World War II, eight Korean War and 22 Arizona Vietnam war veterans to Washington D.C. May 24-26. Christina Carilla and Jon Noetze of Fox News 10 went along, reporting nightly. A celebratory send-off and presentation of colors happened at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix. Veterans received special recognition enroute from the flight crew and fellow passengers. Landing at Baltimore/Washington International, a Baltimore Fire Department engine water salute greeted Southwest Airlines’ American flag decorated aircraft.

Day one was to the World War II, U.S. Marine Corps, Korean War and U.S. Air Force memorials. A pinning ceremony was conducted at the Vietnam memorial. Veterans witnessed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and saw the Arlington Cemetery tombstones flagged for Memorial Day. Two of Mission 99’s women Army veterans were distinguished at the Military Women’s Memorial. Elk member Eldora Engelbretson and Sun City resident Marge Ahrens each received certificates of recognition as charter members of Women in Military Service to America.

A late afternoon flight back home enabled Mission 99 with an extended day two opportunity to visit Fort McHenry. Veterans participated in the unfurling and flag folding ceremonies, and then continued on to the U.S. Naval Academy Museum. Upon arrival back in Phoenix, hundreds of AZ Honor Flight volunteers, family, friends and grateful people were there for a welcome home to the weary travelers.

During the Vietnam War era, many veterans did not receive the welcome home they deserved. Alone on planes after tours, some were anguished by their countrymen’s condemnation. The simple and yet powerful mission of Honor Flight is not only to visit memorials, but also to have the camaraderie, the friendships developed among veterans and with their guardians. As one Mission 99 participant shared, “That dark past can’t be changed. But the recognition, the number of people randomly patting my shoulder with gratitude, lifted a burden I’ve carried for honoring my oath to my country.”

Veterans and guardians can register for Honor Flight AZ at

Editor’s Note: We’d like to invite our readers to submit their civil comments, pro or con, on this issue. Email