Honoring those who served

Collins Aerospace expands its commitment to the Honor Flight Network

Veterans participating in an Honor Flight share this momentous occasion with fellow service members remembering friends and comrades lost, while sharing their stories and experiences with others who served. Honor Flight Network currently hosts veterans – at no cost to them – who served during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and veterans of any service era who are critically ill.

“We’re proud to support the Honor Flight’s mission of celebrating America’s veterans by inviting them to enjoy a fully hosted trip to our nation’s memorials,” said Colin Mahoney, president of Customer & Account Management at Collins Aerospace and executive sponsor of the company’s Veterans employee resource group. “This is just one small way we can show them our appreciation for the sacrifices they made to defend the United States.”

The Veterans employee forum connects and supports Collins’ military community, including former service members, family members and their supporters.

Collins has been a long-time sponsor of two of the Network’s 126 independent hubs – the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and the Space Coast Honor Flight in Melbourne, Florida. But that network expanded in 2023 after the company increased its sponsorship level to add three more entities:

  • Honor Flight DFW (Richardson, Texas),
  • Queen City Honor Flight (Charlotte, North Carolina)
  • and the Lone Eagle Honor Flight, which supports veterans who do not have a local Honor Flight Hub.

As a Patriot Partner for the Honor Flight Network, Collins will help more than 200 veterans visit the Washington, D.C., memorials over the next year or so. Previous participants on Collins-sponsored flights have given the program rave reviews with comments that include:

  • "It's unbelievable the work and planning that went into this."
  • “I would like to express my most sincere thanks and gratitude for the wonderful privilege.”
  • “I enjoyed the whole experience.”

This year’s flight activities will begin with Collins’ sponsorship of the 50th Honor Flight to leave Dallas. Forty-two veterans and their guardians, along with their travel hosts, are scheduled to takeoff early on Friday, April 21, 2023,for a two-day excursion they won’t soon forget. The group is comprised of veterans ranging from 68-years-old to 93, and representing the Korean War, Cold War and Vietnam War.

“When they return from their two-day visit at the capital’s memorials, we’ll greet them at the airport to further celebrate their opportunity for remembrance and reflection,” Mahoney said. “We want to be sure they truly know how much we appreciate their service by giving them a hero’s welcome.”

Highlights of Flight 50 will include:

  • National World War II Memorial
  • U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial
  • Arlington National Cemetery
  • Air Force Memorial
  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall
  • Korean War Veterans Memorial
  • United States Navy Memorial
  • Tomb of the Unknowns
  • Airmen of Note Concert

Veterans traveling with Honor Flight this year will join the 21,800 veterans flown in 2022 alone. Since its inception, the Honor Flight Network has flown nearly 275,000 veterans to Washington, D.C. Currently there are more than 42,000 veterans on the waiting list for future flights.