WXXI AM News

"Honor Flight Buffalo" Disbands

Jan 24, 2016

BUFFALO (AP) The Buffalo chapter of an organization that flies World War II veterans to Washington is dissolving.

Honor Flight Buffalo posted the news on its website Friday following a vote by its board of directors.

The all-volunteer chapter was founded in 2009 and organized 18 flights carrying a total of 500 veterans.

Its founders, Lisa and Jo-Anne Wylie, formed Honor Flight Buffalo in memory of their father. They said Sgt. Robert Wylie was involved in construction of the World War II Memorial but died before he had the chance to see it.

Honor Flight has several other chapters in New York and around the country, including here in Rochester.

Here is a statement posted on the Honor Flight Rochester site referring to the dissolving of the Buffalo chapter:

Honor Flight Rochester Remains Fiscally Strong;

Continues Mission Flying Greater Rochester Area Veterans

ROCHESTER, NY – Honor Flight Rochester is aware that Honor Flight Buffalo is closing. We became aware of that at the same time as others. Honor Flight Rochester (HFR) wants to re-assure the community that we are still operational. HFR is fiscally strong and we have a large corps of volunteers to sustain our mission.

We have plans to continue flying World War II, Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam War veterans and veterans of any era who suffer a catastrophic illness on a free Honor Flight. We continue to seek veterans from the Greater Rochester area for an Honor Flight.

While HFR is part of the national Honor Flight Network, we are a separate organization. We do our own fundraising and scheduling of Honor Flights. HFR’s territory is east of Buffalo and west of Syracuse and down the Southern Tier.

We are waiting to hear from the national Honor Flight Network for additional details. The HFR board of directors will be meeting to discuss this situation. We should also consider that it is possible that others in Buffalo could revive the program there. In the past, HFR volunteers assisted other New York cities establish their Honor Flight hubs.

Honor Flight Rochester – thanks to the generosity of the Greater Rochester community – has three missions scheduled for the spring: Mission 46 (April 30 – May 1); Mission 47 (May 21 – May 22); and Mission 48 (June 18 – June 19).