CLEVELAND – Ford Motor Company Fund is Honor Flight Cleveland’s first corporate sponsor after six years and nearly 50 flights to transport World War II veterans to visit the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D. C.
Ford Fund is covering the cost of the trip to Washington, D.C. for 25 Ohio veterans to experience the national memorials dedicated in their honor, more than 60 years after the end of World War II.
“It is an honor and privilege to travel to Washington, D.C., alongside these brave Americans who served our country nearly 70 years ago,” said Bob Gillingham, dealer principal of Bob Gillingham Ford and an Army veteran. “Ford Fund’s generous contribution is providing a fitting remembrance of the lasting impact of and appreciation for their historic sacrifice.”
The World War II Honor Flight veterans, who are in their late eighties and nineties, along with their guardians, are being greeted in Washington, D.C. by members of Congress and Ford employees at the memorial. They also are visiting the Air Force Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial and Arlington Cemetery. The trip was organized by Honor Flight Cleveland (honorflightcleveland.com), the northeast Ohio hub of the Honor Flight Network
Ford Fund also is sponsoring a flight in September through the Honor Flight Network of Kansas City and recently sponsored an Honor Flight for Kentucky veterans. Ford is providing more than $50,000 toward Honor Flights this year, similar to the level of support it contributed in 2012.
Ford Motor Company’s support for veterans dates back more than 90 years when Henry Ford led his first cross-country caravan of 50 Ford Model Ts to transport disabled veterans to their convention. Since 1974 Ford Motor Company and Ford Motor Company Fund have provided more than $8 million to veterans organizations, including support for the National World War II Memorial.
The Ford Veterans Network Group, one of Ford’s corporately supported Employee Resource Groups, sponsors activities in support of its veterans, military personnel and their families. Ford employs more than 7,000 U.S. veterans and hundreds of U.S. Reservists and Guardsmen and active military personnel.