To pull off a single Honor Flight or Freedom Flight is quite the undertaking. It requires a massive amount of fundraising, the coordination of a hundred volunteers or more, and the cooperation of airlines, bus companies and local, state and federal agencies.
Pulling off four, however, is nothing short of astounding.
The kudos and thank-yous that have poured in since the moment the fourth and final Jasper County Freedom Flight touched down at Des Moines International Airport have been well earned. As much as the veterans deserved to have the lasting memories and healing experience from the trip to our nation’s capital, the folks who made it happen also deserve our gratitude.
First, to Doug Bishop, the architect behind four successful trips to and from Washington, D.C., there is not enough that can be said to thank him for his hard work and dedication to Jasper County’s veteran community. Keep in mind, in addition to four Freedom Flights, he also has spearheaded the effort to bring The Wall That Heals to Jasper County, as well as efforts to recognize the veteran community during Newton’s Fourth of July Parade.
If he were writing this editorial, he would quickly point out he could not possibly do it all by himself.
So, it is equally important that we thank the members of the Freedom Flight Committee and the “Red Shirts,” the small army of volunteers who helped make each flight happen. Without their dedication, none of the Freedom Flights could have happened — or if they did, they wouldn’t have been as successful.
The preceding represents the opinion of the Newton Daily News Editorial Board.