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MetaVR Sponsors Honor Flight New England's November 1, 2015 Visit
to the War Memorials in Washington, D.C.

On Sunday, November 1, 2015, MetaVR sponsored a group of 58 World War II veterans from Honor Flight New England on their Honor Flight to visit the World War II Memorial and other memorials in Washington, D.C. For most of the veterans, it was the first time they had ever traveled to Washington D.C. to see the memorials. Accompanying each veteran was a volunteer, or guardian (family member or program volunteer), who traveled at his or her own expense and offered assistance to the veteran throughout the trip. This event was the fifth Honor Flight New England chartered flight to Washington D.C. that MetaVR has sponsored or co-sponsored. (Five years ago, the tradition began when MetaVR sponsored 10 veterans on a commercial flight to visit the war memorials.)

Earlier this fall, a member of MetaVR's staff was a guest of Honor Flight New England at the Congressional Medal of Honor Patriot Award Gala dinner held on September 19, 2015, at the Seaport World Trade Center, Boston, MA. Several veterans of Honor Flight New England attended the event. The event was part of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society's annual convention, which was held in Boston.

Since its formation in 2009, Honor Flight New England has given 1299 veterans the opportunity to visit their memorials in the nation's capital. Honor Flight New England (HFNE) is part of the national organization Honor Flight Network and is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America's veterans for all of their sacrifices. Through generous donations veterans have the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., to visit and reflect at their memorials at no personal expense. Top priority is given to World War II veterans, and veterans of other wars who may be terminally ill. The program is recognized as a concrete way of expressing gratitude for the service and sacrifice of US military men and women. 

On Sunday May 17, 2015, Trident Military Systems and MetaVR sponsored a group of 56 veterans from Honor Flight New England on their Honor Flight to visit the World War II Memorial and other memorials in Washington, D.C. A member of MetaVR staff joined Joseph F. Byron (founder of HFNE) and his volunteer staff accompanying the veterans.


Honor Flight New England veterans in Washington D.C. on May 17, 2015. (Photo: MetaVR)

ABC affiliate WCVB in Boston, MA, aired a segment "Thank You, World War II Vets" on "Chronicle," November 10, 2015, featuring this visit.

In addition to visiting the World War II Memorial, the veterans observed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, and visited the Korean War Memorial, Air Force Museum, the Marine Corps Monument, and the Navy Monument.  

  

  

  
Honor Flight New England veterans' visit to the nation's war memorials in Washington D.C. on May 17, 2015. (Photos: MetaVR)

At Boston's Logan International Airport, the State Police, Massport fire and emergency staff, TSA staff, Southwest Airlines staff, and other airport staff greeted the veterans warmly and provided comfortable and supportive arrangements as needed. Arriving at BWI airport in Baltimore, the Honor Flight group was greeted by a large celebratory welcoming crowd and then transported by buses to Washington D.C.

Copyright Honor Flight New England.  Copyright Honor Flight New England. Honor Flight New England at Logan International Airport (left), and enroute by the bus to the memorials in Washington D.C. (Photos: HFNE)

Local MA media WCVB-TV, MassLive.com (with photo gallery here), Main Street Journal, Sentinel & Enterprise News, and ABC affiliate WCVB-TV reported on the trip, which began at 5 a.m. at Logan International Airport in Boston, MA.

Copyright Honor Flight New England.  Copyright Honor Flight New England.

Copyright Honor Flight New England.  Copyright Honor Flight New England.
Honor Flight New England veterans' visit to the nation's war memorials in Washington D.C. on May 17, 2015. (Photos: HFNE)

We at MetaVR express our sincere appreciation for the opportunity to support the efforts of HFNE. MetaVR develops software that helps our servicemen and women prepare for their crucial role in protecting our freedom and preserving world peace.  Every day we work proudly to deliver our product with a full understanding of its importance in saving lives and accomplishing missions.  And, while doing so, we are grateful to these members of our armed forces, our friends and family members among them, for responding to the same call to duty that has sounded for previous generations. Consistent with our strong commitment to those in active service and in harm's way, we celebrate and honor those that have served before them.  In doing so, we give thanks to all members of our military forces past, present, and future.

Copyright Honor Flight New England.  Copyright Honor Flight New England.
Honor Flight New England veterans at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. on May 17, 2015.(Photos: HFNE)

Below are highlights from previous Honor Flight New England visits to the memorials in Washington D.C. that MetaVR has sponsored.

On Sunday May 18, 2014, MetaVR sponsored a group of 63 World War II veterans from Honor Flight New England on their Honor Flight to visit the World War II Memorial and other memorials in Washington, D.C. MetaVR joined Joseph F. Byron (founder of Honor Flight New England) and his volunteer staff accompanying the veterans. For most of the veterans, it was the first time they had ever traveled to Washington D.C. to see the memorials. Accompanying each veteran was a volunteer, or guardian (family member or program volunteer), who traveled at his or her own expense and offered assistance to the veteran throughout the trip. In addition to visiting the World War II Memorial, the veterans observed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, and visited the Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

WGGB -TV ABC40 reported on the trip in these two segments, which began at 5 a.m. at Logan Airport in Boston, MA.

Honor Flight bus in Washington D.C. on May 18, 2014. Copyright Honor Flight New England.On the left, MetaVR's W. Garth Smith with Milt Miller and Charles Abdinoor on the Honor Flight bus in Washington D.C. On the right, Honor Flight New England at the World War II Memorial on May 18, 2014.

Listen to the Veterans' Voice show on WATD 95.9 radio, which featured on its May 28, 2014, show, Honor Flight New England veterans and a discussion about the recent trip to Washington D.C.

At 44:12 into the Veterans' Voice show, Al Dziewit of MetaVR speaks about the company's commitment to celebrate and honor veteran warfighters through sponsoring Honor Flight New England trips to visit the war memorials. WATD had joined the veterans on the trip and has posted a special feature about the day on its website.

 

Copyright Honor Flight New England.
Honor Flight New England at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. on May 19, 2013.

On Sunday May 19, 2013, MetaVR sponsored a group of 61 veterans from Honor Flight New England on their Honor Flight to visit the World War II Memorial and other memorials in Washington, D.C. It was the first time these veterans had ever traveled to Washington D.C to see the memorials. An Iwo Jima survivor and a Purple Heart recipient were among the World War II veterans. In addition to visiting the World War II Memorial, the veterans observed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, and visited the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, and the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

Copyright Honor Flight New England.
Honor Flight New England at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. on May 19, 2013.

On May 22, 2011, a member of MetaVR's staff joined Joseph F. Byron (founder of Honor Flight New England) and his volunteer staff, and 64 veterans on a chartered Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 for the trip from Boston MA to visit the memorials in Washington D.C. With MetaVR’s financial sponsorship of each veteran on the flight, this trip was a milestone for Joe Byron and his staff, as it was their first opportunity to charter an entire flight. (Previous Honor Flight events had been limited to groups of 10 to 15 veterans with travel on regularly scheduled flights.) 

Copyright Honor Flight New England.
Honor Flight New England at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. on May 22, 2011.

A video crew accompanied the Honor Flight group for the day and recorded the thoughts and personal remembrances of a few of the veterans. The videos are available below, in Windows Media Format (.wmv). Click a thumbnail image below to play a video recorded interview:

  Click to play video.   Click to play video.   Click to play video.   Click to play video.   Click to play video.
  Robert Klein   Leonard Chanpa   Gregg Wyse   Harvey Lafleur   Eugene Galuska

Each veteran was accompanied by a volunteer, or guardian (family member or program volunteer), who traveled at his or her own expense and offered assistance to the veteran for the duration of the trip.

Copyright Honor Flight New England. At Logan and BWI airports.

At Boston's Logan International Airport, the State Police, the Massport fire and emergency staff, the TSA staff, Southwest Airlines staff, and other airport staff greeted the veterans warmly and provided comfortable and supportive arrangements as needed. Arriving at BWI airport in Baltimore, the Honor Flight group was greeted by a large celebratory welcoming crowd and then transported by buses to Washington DC.

The veterans’ first stop was the World War II Memorial, which for many was an important start to the day with its peaceful expanse and reflecting pool. 

Copyright Honor New England. Copyright Honor Flight New England.

At the World War II Memorial.

The day progressed with visits to the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, and the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

Copyright Honor Flight New England. Copyright Honor Flight New England.

Copyright Honor Flight New England.   Copyright Honor Flight New England.
At the Korean and Viet Nam Memorials
.

At Arlington National Cemetery, special seating was provided to the veterans to observe the changing of the guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns.


At Arlington National Cemetery, watching the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

The day drew to a close with visits to the Marine Memorial and then to the site of the Air Force Memorial, with its panoramic views of the city and soaring arches. The Honor Flight group returned to Baltimore and then flew on to Boston after a full, active day.

Patrick Murphy, one of the volunteers, sums up the arrival back in Boston, "On reaching Boston we were again met at the gate by an enormous, cheering crowd.  We once again were honored by the State Police, the Mass Port Fire and Emergency Staff, the TSA staff, other airport staff, and the always-gracious Southwest Airlines staff, each group doing their part to escort us with honors towards home.  Perhaps most moving though was the reaction of the other late-night travelers in the terminal area.  All of them seemed to come forward to line our route to the bus loading area.  As I looked from face to face in the crowd what was most amazing was to hear the intensity of the clapping, and to see the tears streaming down the cheeks of some of those strangers, coincidentally traveling at the same time.  As they looked upon our parade of veterans perhaps they were seeing fathers or mothers now gone, or grandfathers, and grandmothers gone before they had a chance to know them.  But always they reached out, “Thank you, sir; thank you for your service.”

Page credits unless otherwise noted: Joe Byron of Honor Flight New England (photographs), videographer Jim Kreidler (2011 videos and photographs), and volunteer Patrick Murphy (information about the May 2011 event and a photograph).

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