On November 11, 2017, I was honored to accompany a group of local veterans to see their war memorials in Washington, DC. The trip was through the Twin Tiers Honor Flight, which is the local hub of the Honor Flight Network, a national non-profit organization dedicated to honoring our veterans and giving them closure.

On our return home from Washington, DC, our local veterans were surprised with mail call. You see, when they were young men serving in our military, they would stand with other members of their unit and anxiously wait to hear if their name was called. If so, it meant that they had a package from home which included letters, gifts, and photographs from family, friends, and those they loved. For many of these men, mail call packages were what carried them through their darkest of days. It was truly beautiful to see how excited these gentlemen were all of these years later to once again receive mail call.

According to the National World War II Museum, those who served in World War II are now in their 80's and 90's and sadly, they're dying quickly. Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, there were only an estimated 558,000 remaining in 2017. What's more is that an estimated 640 WWII veterans die each day. That means that by the time 2018 comes to a close, there will be more than 233,600 World War II veterans who will die. By 2021, there will be very few, if any, surviving World War II veterans.

The Twin Tiers Honor Flight continues to do all that they can to fulfill the dreams of our veterans and help our heroes travel absolutely free to see their war memorial (s) in Washington DC.  The Twin Tiers Honor Flight has been awarded Platinum Level (which is the highest) for transparency on Guidestar.org. Also, Broome County stands behind this organization and just made a donation of $25,000 for use toward future trips to Washington DC, which is huge because just one Honor Flight airplane trip can cost upwards of $80,000, with an Honor Flight bus trip costing just under $20,000.

Traci Taylor

The next Twin Tiers Honor Flight will take place on Saturday, May 12th, 2018. I will be part of this trip and there's nothing more I would love than to know that each veteran will be handed a mail call package. Letters, cards, and drawings, each expressing love and thanks to our veterans them for their service.

If you'd like to help with mail call, all correspondence needs to be received by Friday, April 13th, 2018. If you write, please remember to keep your note lighthearted and filled with thanks. Please refrain from including political opinions. If you're not sure what to write, maybe something along the lines of, "thank you for your service and I hope you enjoyed your trip." Cards and drawings from children are also encouraged.

There are two ways that you can submit mail call:

By mail (must be received by April 13th):
Townsquare Media Binghamton
Attn: Traci Taylor
59 Court Street
Binghamton, NY 13905

In person:
Drop off your mail call Monday-Friday between 8am and 5pm at Townsquare Media Binghamton, 59 Court Street in Binghamton. Again, we need all pieces of mail call by Friday, April 13th.

*Note: please don't date your card, letter, or drawing.

If you're a veteran or know one who would like to visit their war memorial through the Twin Tiers Honor Flight, you can submit an application here.

[Honor Flight Network/Twin Tiers Honor Flight/National World War II Museum]