DALLAS, July 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Southwest Airlines (LUV) announced today that it will provide travel to help make the dreams of more than 3,000 of America’s Veterans come true. As the official commercial airline of the Honor Flight Network since 2009, Southwest has renewed its commitment and will provide $1.2 million in free travel through 2015 to help Veterans visit the memorials dedicated to their brave service to our country.
Southwest Airlines’ Mission for WWII Vets
“Southwest Airlines is proud to continue our support of Honor Flight and to have the opportunity to give back to the people who have fought to protect our Freedoms,” said Linda Rutherford, Southwest Airlines Vice President of Communication and Strategic Outreach. “Every Veteran should have the opportunity to visit the memorial that was created for him or her, and we are honored to be a part of fulfilling this dream.”
Southwest Airlines has a long history of supporting the men and women who fight for our nation’s Freedoms. Over the past four years, Southwest Airlines supports WWII vets having already donated more than $2 million to Honor Flight to connect more than 4,500 WWII Veterans with their memorial in Washington D.C. To read a blog post about Veterans who have visited their memorial, visit the NUTS About Southwest blog.
“Because of Southwest Airlines’ generosity and renewed sponsorship, thousands of World War II and terminally ill Veterans will continue to have the opportunity to see the memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifice in Washington, D.C.,” said Chairman of the Honor Flight Network, James McLaughlin. “The most often heard comment we hear from the Veterans at the end of their Honor Flight experience is that this has been one of the greatest days of their lives. That is all the reward we need.”
About Southwest Airlines Co.
Southwest Airlines is the nation’s largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded and has recently acquired AirTran Airways, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines Co. Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world known for its commitment to the triple bottom line of Performance, People, and Planet, distinguishing itself in its support of men and women in uniform. The airline has been recognized numerous times by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) for its commitment and support of the airline’s Employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve; been named a Top Military Employer by GI Jobs Magazine; and received recognition for naming the month of November as “Military Heroes Month” and celebrating its partnerships with nonprofits focused on active duty military, veterans, and families of military members. To read more about how Southwest is doing its part to be a good citizen, visit southwest.com/citizenship to read the Southwest Airlines One Report™. Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,400 flights a day and has more than 46,000 Employees systemwide.
About Honor Flight Network
Based on recent statistics, the United States loses more than 900 WWII veterans per day. Honor Flight Network was created to help do whatever it takes to fulfill the dreams of veterans and help them travel to Washington, D.C. absolutely free. The nonprofit was conceived by Earl Morse, a physician assistant and a retired Air Force Captain. He wanted to honor the veterans he had taken care of over many years, and quickly realized how impactful the trip would be for them. The inaugural flight took off in May 2005, when six small planes took twelve WWII veterans from Springfield, Ohio to Washington, D.C. In August 2005, a long list of anxious veterans led to commercial airline carriers in order to accommodate and expand the service as much as possible. Since then, the network has transported more than 81,000 veterans to see the memorials that mean so much to them.
Southwest Airlines tails photo from Getty Images