Johnsonville Joins in Support of Oct. 19 Stars & Stripes Honor Flight
GREEN BAY, WI - At a Lambeau Field news conference today, Stars & Stripes Honor Flight announced the roster of local sponsors and sports alumni from three Wisconsin pro teams who will participate in the Flight of Champions taking place on October 19, 2019.
Two planeloads of Veterans, guardians and alumni from the Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks, will depart from Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport early that morning. Simultaneously, a third plane of Veterans, guardians and Green Bay Packers alumni will depart from Green Bay Austin-Straubel International Airport. Johnsonville is one of several NE Wisconsin-area sponsors for the Green Bay flight. Two Johnsonville members who are also Veterans were invited to serve as guardians and will join the Veterans on their flight. A third member will also fly as a guardian, accompanying her father, a Vietnam War Veteran.
“We are thrilled to have Wisconsin’s top three professional sports teams join with us to recognize and honor the Veterans on these flights,” stated Paula Nelson, president of Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. The “Flight of Champions” will take approximately 240 WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War Veterans from southeastern and east-central Wisconsin on a one day, all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to visit the war memorials built in their honor, and to experience a full day of honor and thanks for their service to our nation.
Joining the flights will be a contingent of alumni from three of Wisconsin’s professional sports teams:
Alumni players from the Packers joining the Green Bay flight include: Jared Abbrederis, Jarrett Bush, LeRoy Butler, Johnnie Gray and Bill Schroeder.
From the Milwaukee Brewers, the following pitching alumni: Don August, Jerry Augustine, Ken Sanders and Paul Wagner.
From the Milwaukee Bucks will be alumni Steve Novak and Dick Garrett.
“We are honored to be a part of this historic mission with our fellow pro sports teams from Wisconsin,” stated Green Bay Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy. “While we play different sports, we all have one thing in common, and that is great respect for those who have served, and are serving, in our military. We couldn’t be more excited to be asked to play a small role in ensuring these Veterans, who are American heroes, have a great day in D.C.”
Area Residents Encouraged to Welcome Vets Home
A call to action was also issued to have Green Bay area residents to welcome home the Veterans from their flights when they return the airport Saturday evening. Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach said, “We encourage the public to turn out in force for the welcome home celebration and give the Veterans the welcome home many of them never received. It’s an incredible experience and we want to make it an experience the Veterans won’t forget.”
- At Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport, the concourse will open shortly after 5 p.m., with the flight expected to arrive around 7:30 p.m.
- There will be free parking in the Austin Straubel lot and free overflow parking with shuttle service from the Oneida Bingo Hall right across the street.
- Attendees are encouraged to arrive early. If you need seating, you can bring a small bag chair.
- Inside the airport, there will be live music, flag giveaways and honor guards.
Stars and Stripes Honor Flight will have flown just under 7,200 local Veterans on these trips to Washington since 2008 and honored more than 50 Veterans locally who were not able to fly.
Honor Flight is a national program with more than 130 hubs from coast to coast. The WWII Memorial did not open until 2004 and many Veterans are unable to visit Washington without assistance. Nationally, hubs in the Honor Flight network have honored over 222,000 Veterans with free trips to see the WWII, Vietnam War and Korean War memorials.
HONOR FLIGHT MEDIA CONTACTS:
Karyn Roelke, Stars and Stripes Honor Flight Paula Nelson, Stars and Stripes Honor Flight
Phone: 815-378-5819 Phone: 262-305-6424