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NGKF’s Jeff Gural sponsors program to fly WWII vets to Washington DC

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank Chairman Jeffery Gural, along with American Airlines and the Port Authority of NYNJ, is underwriting the first-ever Big Apple Honor Flight on April 29th from JFK Airport to Washington DC. Founders of the upstate nonprofit, Hudson Valley Honor Flight, are bringing their ideas to the Big Apple for the first time ever and will take NYC’s Greatest Generation, veterans of World War II, on this “Flight of a Lifetime.”

Additional sponsors of this inaugural event, along with veteran participants, are still being sought.

“It is an honor and a pleasure to help these heroic men and women see how their sacrifice and service is valued by the nation,” said Mr. Gural. “Every day the United States is losing more and more veterans who have not had the opportunity to see the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. and it is important for them to experience

Organizers of Big Apple Honor Flight have started the planning process and are looking for volunteers and veterans to make their mission possible.  The group has launched www.BigAppleHonorFlight.com, which contains additional information on how to get involved in the planning.  Applications to apply to be a veteran honored on the flight can also be found on the website.  They plan to take 75 WWII veterans on their first flight from NYC in the spring.  These spots will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

“We want to spread the word to WWII veterans and their family members that Big Apple Honor Flight is here to serve New York City’s heroes of the Greatest Generation,” said Becky Maher, Co-Founder and Chairwoman of Big Apple Honor Flight.  “It is our goal to also recruit a few good men and women from the NYC area who have a shared interest in honoring our veterans to fill some important volunteer roles over the next few months.  It takes a village, or in this case, a “city that never sleeps”, to put together a true Honor Flight experience.  We look forward to working with the talent and patriotism that we know resides in the Big Apple.”

Big Apple Honor Flight is a hub of the national Honor Flight Network whose mission is to transport veterans to Washington D.C. to see the memorials built in their honor and to receive the recognition they deserve for all of their sacrifices.  BAHF’s first one-day, all-expense-paid trip for these veterans will depart from John F. Kennedy International Airport on an American Airlines charter flight.

The national Honor Flight Network includes more than 130 hubs in 44 states across the country.  Since it’s inception in 2005, over 159,703 veterans have been flown to D.C. on an Honor Flight.  In 2015 alone, Honor Flight hubs serviced 20,886 veterans nationally.  Not until now has an official Honor Flight been organized out of New York City, where the population of WWII veterans is estimated to be in the thousands.

“Of all the wars in our nation’s history, it is World War II that threatened the very existence of America as a culturally diverse and free society”, added Maher. “According to the Veterans Administration, an estimated 430 WWII Veterans die each day nationally.  We know the time is now to take our WWII veterans from the NYC area, before it is too late.”

For more information, call 929-251-5120 or visit www.BigAppleHonorFlight.com.

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