Central Wisconsin Airport,Mosinee-Guardians began filing into Cental Wisconsin Airport in Mosinee around 4:30 AM Monday morning, to begin checking in for the 23rd ‘Never Forgotten Honor Flight’ due to take off for Washington D.C at 6:45 AM. Participating veterans began checking in a short time later, gathering at the south end of the airport to enjoy coffee and other refreshments while meeting and conversing with fellow guardians and veterans.
As NFHF co-founder Jim Campbelll explains, the roots of the Wausau based organization date back to 2007.
“It all started with a conversation between a colleague and I, discussing how we could get our veterans out to Washington to see their respective memorials,” the retired US Marine aviator explains.
“I decided it was something I wanted to pursue when I retired and following a flight in which I served as a guardian in 2009, I began looking into it further.”
Shortly after that flight, Campbell was contacted by fellow co-founder Mike Thompson.
“Mike had the same idea I had and contacted the national honor flight headqauarters. They told him I was already involved and he eventually contacted me. We went to work getting the paperwork organized,raising the $85,000 needed for the first flight and coming up with a name.”
As Campbell further explains, the title ‘Never Forgotten’ is specific to the Wausau organization and was chosen due to the emotional and powerful message the name carries.
The first Never Forgotten Honor Flight took off from Central Wisconsin Airport April 27, 2010 and as of Monday morning’s flight, the organization has served 2,098 World War II and Korean War veterans.
“To say my work with the organization is rewarding, would be an incredible understatement,” Campbell adds.
“It’s hard to put into words. To see our veterans recognized, enjoy themselves and most of all; open up to their family members about their service is what its all about”