105-year old WWII vet honored by PBC

William J. Ely, a 105-year old Delray Beach resident, said there are three reasons he has lived so long: good luck, good genes, and the love and caring of his wife, Helen, to whom he was married for 70 years before her death in 2014.

Ely, believed to be the oldest living graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, was honored by the Palm Beach County Commission on Tuesday.

Commissioner Steve Abrams, whose district includes Delray Beach, presented Ely with a proclamation honoring his 33 years of service in the Army, including service in the Pacific during  World War II.

Ely earned an Army Distinguished Service Medal, a Bronze Star, a Silver Star and two Legions of Merit.

After receiving his proclamation, those attending the commission meeting gave Ely a sustained standing ovation.

ely

(Eliot Kleinberg/The Palm Beach Post)

‘Honor Flight’ delayed by Matthew now reset for Nov. 19

Andy, Robert, Daniel Mayer
Andy, Robert, Daniel Mayer
April 2015 flight
April 2015 flight

The Oct. 8 veterans’ “Honor Flight” cancelled by Hurricane Matthew has been rescheduled for Nov. 19, Honor Flight officials said Monday.

An especially poignant aspect of that flight had been that of the Mayers. Veteran Andy Mayer, himself a veteran, had planned to escort not just his father Robert, a World War II veteran, as well as brother Daniel, who was in Vietnam and who is dying of cancer.

Andy Mayer said Monday the trio is set to be on the rescheduled flight.

One change Nov. 19: the flight will land at 7:20pm instead of the usual 8:20 p.m. As always, the public is encouraged to come out in force to the airport to give the veterans a heroes’ welcome.

Since 2009, the nonprofit Stuart-based Southeast Florida Honor Flight, one of 133 such operations nationwide, has taken more than 2,100 veterans, free of charge, from Palm Beach International Airport to Washington and back.

Honor Flight operates solely on corporate and individual donations. Its four flights a year comprise a daylong trip to see the World War II Memorial, the Iwo Jima Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery.

 

Honor Flights gets matching grant

April 2015 flight
April 2015 flight

The Levitetz Family Foundation has come to the aid of Southeast Florida Honor Flight again by issuing a match challenge to raise money to fly World War II and Korean War veterans to Washington, DC.  The foundation has said it will match the first $37,500, guaranteeing $75,000 for the scheduled Sept. 10 flight.

Since 2009, Stuart-based Southeast Florida Honor Flight has taken more than 1,600 veterans at no cost.

Last fall, the foundation donated $45,000 for the October 2015 flight, which that was in jeopardy after a longtime donor had to pull out. This year, Levitetz has said it will make its donation both an annual one and as a matching challenge.

The next honor flight is Saturday, followed by flights Sept. 24 and Oct. 22. People are asked to come Saturday to greet veterans when they return.

Saturday’s flight consists mostly of Korean War veterans, a first for the Honor Flights, but a grim reality, as the ranks of World War II veterans continue to dwindle.

For more or to donate, call 855-FLYAVET (855-359-2838). Web page: www.honorflightsefl.org.Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1230017280363083/ Or by mail at Southeast Florida Honor Flight, Inc., PO Box 1503, Stuart 34995.

Click for Palm Beach Post coverage of Honor Flights

 

Palm Beach County Historical Society to hold Armed Forces Day May 21

Armed Forces Day at the Johnson History Museum in the 1916 Court House in downtown West Palm Beach at 300 North Dixie Highway.

Service and sacrifice by the military past and present will be honored Saturday, May 21 at the annual Armed Forces Day program by the Historical Society of Palm Beach County.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum, at the 1916 Courthouse, 300 N. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach.

It starts at 11:15 a.m. with a color guard presentation by a local detachment of the U.S. Marines Reserves. That’s followed by a tour of the exhibit “By Land and Sea: Florida in the Civil War,” and at 12:30 p.m. by a historic weapons demonstration.

Also on display on the courthouse lawn: military re-enactors and their encampments and vehicles such as a Huey Helicopter and military trucks. Food trucks will be parked along Third Street.

The event is free and open to the public; nearby parking is free.

For more, visit www.hspbc.org.

 

 

Greet “Honor Flight” veterans May 14 at PBIA

April 2015 flight
April 2015 flight

The next Honor Flight for World War II and Korean War veterans is set for Saturday, May 14.  People are asked to come that night to greet veterans when they return.

This event, and the first flight of 2016, this past Saturday,  both quickly filled.  But this flight consists mostly of Korean War veterans, a first for the Honor Flights, but a grim reality, as the ranks of World War II veterans continue to dwindle.

Since 2009, Stuart-based Southeast Florida Honor Flight has taken more than 1,600 veterans at no cost from Palm Beach International Airport to Washington, D.C., and back, for a daylong trip to see the World War II Memorial, the Iwo Jima Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery.

As always, local residents are urged to come out to Palm Beach International Airport in the evening to welcome the flight home at around 8:20 p.m.. In the past, hundreds have filled the concourse with U.S. flags, balloons, and hand-drawn signs. People are asked to go to Terminal Level 2, Concourse A/B and arrive early to set up. Park in short-term parking.

For more or to donate, call 855-FLYAVET (855-359-2838). Web page: www.honorflightsefl.org. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1230017280363083/

Click for Palm Beach Post coverage of Honor Flights