Central Wisconsin veterans taking their Honor Flight on Monday have a special guest: former Packers tackle Gilbert Brown.
Never Forgotten Honor Flight co-founder and vice president of marketing Jim Campbell say one WWII veteran and 100 Vietnam-era veterans are on board.
Campbell calls Brown’s presence on the flight an added bonus for the Veterans. “They truly enjoy it. These Veterans are over 60 years old so they remember Gilbert and the run-stuffer that he was for the Packers.” Monday’s flight will also become a documentary with Brown interviewing the Veterans as they tour the memorials in Washington, D.C.
Previous May fights have featured John Kuhn and Jerry Kramer. Campbell says in both cases they said the trip had a profound impact on them. “[Kramer] really enjoyed, as John Kuhn did, interviewing the Veterans. And of course, the Veterans are all Green Bay Packer fans too.”
Two more Honor Flights are scheduled for 2018. Campbell says those will take off in September and October, adding that those months (along with April and May) offer the best weather conditions for the Vets.
The current Honor Flight wait list is around 4 years for Vietnam-era Vets.
For WWII and Korean Vets, Campbell says depending on the circumstances they could be on the next flight or go early next year. He adds that a common misconception about Honor Flight is you have to have served in a combat role to participate; however, only about 8% of the 2,935 veterans served by the previous flights saw combat.
“The only qualification is that you served in the years that are listed on the website and application. That’s the only criteria whatsoever.”
More information on the flights and an application for those that want to join the wait list can be found here.