By Eugenia Moskowitz
The Hudson Valley Honor Flight (HVHF), the local hub of the nationwide Honor Flight system which flies veterans to see the memorials in Washington, D.C. for free, flew its 1,000th veteran out of Stewart International Airport on Sept. 10.
Dubbed “Mission 1000,” HVHF would not specify which veteran was the actual 1,000th as it stated that would detract from the importance of all the veterans, but rather that flying their 1,000th passenger is a testament to the importance of the work of getting elderly veterans of World War II and subsequent wars to see the memorials erected in their honor in the nation’s capital.
Among the 88 veterans on the flight was World War II Navy veteran Bill Denette, a figure well-known in Washingtonville as “Mr. D.” for decades of volunteering as a classroom helper in Washingtonville elementary schools along with his late wife. “He had an amazing impact on so many kids,” Marijke Troast, the daughter of a retired Washingtonville elementary school teacher who worked with Denette, said. “My daughter was in the last class he volunteered in, and they have a very special bond.” Troast is a nurse in the district’s middle school.
Among the veterans was the flight’s only female, World War II Army nurse Betty Kimma.
Hudson Valley Honor Flight No. 14 will take place out of Westchester Airport on Oct. 29.
To read the full article see the Friday, Sept. 16 editions of The Sentinel and Orange County Post.