Free flight honoring vets to take off from Westchester airport Saturday

Posted: Updated:
PORT CHESTER -

The Hudson Valley Honor Flight will take off Saturday, showing those who fought for the nation's freedom some historic monuments and memorials.

The flight, taking its 17th mission, will depart from the Westchester County Airport with 70 local veterans.

There will be 54 veterans who served in the Korean War and 16 from the Greatest Generation on board the flight.

Al Vita, of Port Chester, says he will be paying tribute to his fellow veterans this weekend, especially those lost from his community.

"It was a little dead-end street with 15 homes, that street alone lost eight boys in World War II," says Vita. “I love my little village of Port Chester, and they did their sacrifice."

Back then, Vita says each house had stars in the windows with red, white and blue ribbons, representing those who were serving in the war. He says his house had three stars.

"On this flight, I'm representing my two brothers, too," he says. "They were in the Army, I was in the Navy."

The flight will touch down in Washington, D.C., where veterans will be met with fanfare and be able to tour monuments and memorials that many of them have never seen.

The flight is free for the servicemen and women

Despite its success, organizers say future flights could possibly be in jeopardy – as they rely solely on sponsors and flights cost roughly $100,000.

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