Honor Flight looking for WW II vets


By Jim Poole

If you're a World War II veteran who hasn't made a trip to Washington, Leatherstocking Honor Flight is looking for you.
Leatherstocking takes WW II vets to Washington to see the World War II memorial and other patriotic sites, and the organization is looking to fill up its flight for April 28.
Leatherstocking has taken 16 flights of veterans--more than 380 of them--to DC and is hoping to find more.
The organization first focused on Schoharie County, then branched out to neighboring counties. Now it's reaching out even further, to Saratoga County and elsewhere.
It's grown, Chairman Greg Furlong said, "because we're a well-oiled machine."
But it's also grown because there are few other Honor Flight hubs in New York. Hubs exist in Rochester, Buffalo and Long Island, and one is active in Albany, Rensselaer and Washington counties, but that's about all, according to Liz Reinhart, Leatherstocking's veterans' coordinator.
The upcoming flight has vets signed in from Otsego, Delaware and Columbia counties and four or five each from Montgomery and Schenectady counties, Ms. Reinhart said.
There are still many slots left on the flight. The trip is free for veterans, and each one has a chaperone along to help out.
Although Leatherstocking welcomes vets from neighboring counties, the group also wants to make sure it includes all Schoharie County veterans who want to make the trip.
After 16 flights, are there more?
"I'm pretty sure they'll come out of the woodwork when we get closer to April," Mr. Furlong said.
Knowing that Leatherstocking has beaten the bushes pretty well in Schoharie County, Ms. Reinhart isn't sure. But she's ready if they turn out.
"With all our flights, how many more could there possibly be?" she asked. "I want to say there are more, but I don't know."
Ms. Reinhart encouraged others to help find World War II veterans.
"Every time I go in Price Chopper, I see man with a Legion hat on and I stop to talk," she said. "Or there are Iraqi War and Vietnam vets around. . .their dads or grandfathers could be World War II vets."
She and Mr. Furlong want to make sure they reach all the WW II vets they can. Ms. Reinhart's phone number is 339-2464.