The Honor Flight Network will be the first recipient of a new fund drive to support veterans charities by the nationwide Japanese American Veterans Association.
At the group’s June 18 quarterly meeting in Virginia, President Gerald Yamada outlined the plan developed after the initiative was approved earlier in the year by the JAVA Executive Council.
“Our new initiative is to raise money for a selected charity that provides benefits to veterans and their families. I am pleased to announce today that, earlier this month, the Executive Council selected the Honor Flight Network, as the recipient of our charitable donation for this year.
“The purpose of Honor Flight is to transport as many veterans, as possible, to see their war memorials in Washington, D.C., at no cost to the veterans. Currently, Honor Flight is focused primarily on bringing veterans of World War II to visit the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Honor Flight will transition to bring veterans of the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and subsequent wars to Washington, D.C.,” said Yamada.
“The first Honor Flight took place in May 2005. As of November 2010, Honor Flight had transported over 63,000 veterans to Washington, D.C.,” he said. “Honor Flight is headquartered in Springfield, Ohio, and has 114 chapters.
“Honor Flight helped to bring World War II Nisei veterans to the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremonies held in Washington, D.C., in November 2011. Our selection of Honor Flight, as the inaugural charity for JAVA’s new initiative, is our way of expressing our appreciation for Honor Flight’s help in making the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony a memorable experience for the Nisei veterans,” said Yamada.
He explained how JAVA became involved: “In recent years, the American public has expressed its appreciation in many ways for the World War II Nisei soldiers’ extraordinary support of the war effort. We are truly grateful for the honors given to those veterans.
In receiving these expressions of appreciation, we have been takers. We have all shared in their honors. In return, we want to show that a part of the Nisei soldiers’ legacy is to give back to veterans and their families who are in need, and to support the military community. This new initiative is one way for JAVA to fulfill our responsibility as a Veterans Service Organization.
“How can JAVA members and friends help support our new initiative? Well, over the past three years, we have taken steps so that we can manage JAVA without having to ask JAVA members to pay membership dues. We have been able to eliminate dues while at the same time securing JAVA’s financial future. But, we still need your financial help to carry out JAVA’s mission. In lieu of dues, we ask that JAVA members and friends make a donation to JAVA to support this new initiative,” said Yamada.
If you would like to support JAVA by writing a check, please make your checks payable to “JAVA” and put “Honor Flight” on the memo line. Send your check to Mark Nakagawa, JAVA treasurer, at 9455 Park Hunt Court, Springfield, VA 22153.
“Our fundraiser will give 100 percent of the money donated to Honor Flight. We will present our check to Honor Flight as a part of JAVA’s 13th annual Veterans Day Program on Nov. 11 at the National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism.” Yamada can be reached at 703-938-3074.