“LETTERS TO VETERANS PROJECT”
Eastern Iowa Honor Flight departs from The Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids and takes World War II, Korean War, Vietnam and terminally ill veterans to Washington, DC to see memorials and monuments built in their honor. There are typical four flights each years with nearly 100 veterans on each flight.
This is a trip of a lifetime for many. It is a very emotional day for these energetic men and women who sacrificed so much for the freedom and liberty of our country. Our goal is to make this a very memorable and personal experience for each of them.
We can do this with the help of the community, family and friends by asking you to express your thoughts and appreciation to your Veteran in our “Letters to Veterans Project.”
Our Veteran letter writing project is an opportunity to thank the Veterans for their service and tell them how special they are to us. Unknown to the Veterans, these letters will become a permanent keepsake for them.
During the flight home, each Veteran will be given a large envelope filled with letters written especially for them by friends, family, school children and members of the community, both young and old. Many tears have been witnessed on the plane ride home when the Veterans receive their letters and see that people have taken the time to write them a personal letter. Please avoid the depiction of guns in your letters.
To accomplish the goal of having 12 letters or more to give to each Veteran, we ask that you pass this request on to additional family members and friends so they may also participate. Guidelines for the letters are set out below:
Address the letter to your Veteran personally, setting forth your thanks and appreciation for their service and how they have touched your lives. Letters to an “Appreciated Veteran” can be written and mailed at any time. If you have a letter to a specific veteran, friend or family member, your letters need to be received not later than two weeks prior to their scheduled flight. If you are a student, please use your first name and last initial, your classroom teacher and/or classroom code (i.e., 3rd Grade, Mrs. Johnson or 3J) plus your school name, city and state on your letter.
School children may color or draw pictures of flags, stars, soldiers, or write words like freedom, honor, thanks, hero, and so on. Use patriotic colors in your drawings. Please do not draw guns as some veterans may be sensitive to this depiction. You may add stickers to your papers if you would like.
Mail the letters to:
Eastern Iowa Honor Flight
Attn: Letters for Veterans
P.O. Box 502
Hiawatha, Iowa 52233
Please put the name of your Veteran on the back of the envelope. If you want the letter to go to any veteran simply write “Appreciated Veteran” similarly.
Letters may be brought to the Orientation and placed in our “disguised mailbox.” Letters can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org for those of you who prefer that method. We will print them off and insure that your veteran receives them.
If emailing, please include the Veteran’s name on the subject line or title “Any Veteran”.
Please contact us if you have any questions concerning the letter project.
The Eastern Iowa Honor Flight Board would also like to invite each of you to the “Welcome Home Celebration” that will take place upon the Honor Flight’s return to Cedar Rapids. The flight will arrive at The Eastern Iowa Airport at approximately 8:30 PM.
Please join in the festivities as the Veterans enter the terminal. We hope to provide a welcome home and “thank you” that many of the veterans never received after their service.
Parking will be free if you pick up a voucher inside the airport terminal that evening from Honor Flight/airport staff. Just ask at the information kiosk. The parking voucher is good only for the evening of the flight.
Eastern Iowa Honor Flight is an official hub of the Honor Flight Network.