Why write a story about a ‘Veteran Train,” especially since I am the President of Capital District Patriot Flight?
First, the story of Patriot Flight started in 2007. It was the second hub in New York, started by an 83-year-old who was wise enough to create a Federal non-for-profit organization made up of all volunteers. Capital District Patriot Flight is the oldest and premier honor flight in the Capital District, regardless of radio ads, websites or from other people. We have three flights scheduled for 2016, two in May.
However, Capital District Patriot Flight does not just fly you and forget you. We continue with other events.
For the Capital District, we want to introduce the “Veteran Train.” The concept came from the old TV series “Wagon Train,” now shown on ME TV. The program covers stories of brave pioneers crossing the country to find a better life. Today, we have brave veterans crossing part of our nation to enjoy their life in the twilight years. The Capital District makes a great hub for a “day-long tribute with the Veterans.”
We have special events in the works with veterans who can step up and get on the “Veteran Train.” We hope to have 30 people attending the 18th year of the 1944 D-Day Reenactment in Conneaut, Ohio (see www.ddayohio.us), on Aug. 18, 19 and 20. We reserved 16 rooms, and they will go fast. In 2015, two area veterans went for the three dates. The event draws 1,700 re-enactors, and more than 30,000 attended the invasion off Lake Erie.
We will be looking for veterans who fought in France in World War II. The French government awards these veterans the Legion of Honor medal. We need to act quick—WWII veterans are now 90-plus years old.
Last fall, three veterans traveled to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor in the Newburgh area (located at new Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site). We hope to get veterans with Purple Hearts registered in the Hall of Honor. The museum forms can be downloaded off its website (www.thepurpleheart.com), or come to our breakfast club at the Gateway Diner on Central Avenue in Albany. We hope to have a fall trip again and maybe a special recognition.
Some of the veterans at our breakfast club are eager to take other “Veteran Train” trips. We meet every Friday from 8 to 11 a.m. All veterans, troops and patriots are welcome, and help is always appreciated.
Spend a few hours with the “Greatest Generation,” the “Unforgotten Generation” and the “Un-forsaken Generation” at the Gateway Diner, and join the “Veteran Train.”
You may contact me at [email protected] or Patriot Flight, PO Box 190, Delmar, NY 12054.