Honoring Those Who Serve

By Blake W. Kirkpatrick and Rebecca Vaccariello

Honoring Those Who ServeWe Stand Together.  We stand together in honor of the many who cannot stand or risked at one point not being able to stand because they gave their lives or sacrificed healthy bodies, which has and continues to give us the freedom, comfort, safety and privilege to stand.  Anything we can do to help those who are still living who have made such sacrifices would be a very small, but important, gesture of appreciation not only to them, but also to those who indeed paid the ultimate sacrifice.

In the next few weeks leading up to Veteran’s Day weekend there are several events planned for the veterans of our armed forces and/or first responders (Police, EMTs and Fire Rescue) in our local community which are meant to both honor and say thank you to them.  This article will highlight two organizations and the events they are sponsoring in honor of those veterans and first responders.

Legal Aid Service of Collier County and Collier County Honor Flight in unique ways have stepped in to say thank you to those in our community who are truly considered Heroes.

Wills for Heroes
Each year for the past several years Legal Aid Service of Collier County together with numerous attorneys and their staff and band together as one, on or around the Veteran’s Day weekend to assist with the preparation and signing of estate planning documents for Veterans and first responders in Collier County.   The event is called Wills for Heroes and this year it will take place on November 5, 2016 at Legal Aid Service of Collier County’s new offices at 4436 Tamiami Trail East, Naples, FL 34112.  This is an opportunity for our Heroes to meet with local estate planning attorneys (many of whom are Florida Bar Board Certified Wills, Trusts and Estates attorneys), to have their estate planning needs met.

This event is intended for those veterans and first responders (or their spouses), who have not had an estate plan completed and who have very basic estate planning goals and objectives (i.e., outright to spouse and/or children and/or other easily identifiable family members).

If you or your spouse are a veteran, and/or first responder (police, EMTs or fire rescue) and you have not had a basic estate plan completed (i.e., Wills, Powers of Attorney, Health Care Surrogates and Living Wills) please consider attending this event!

Honor Flight Mission 12
Honor Flight is a national non-profit organization that transports veterans to Washington, DC to see their war memorials for free. Collier County Honor Flight was started by Dr. Debi Lux and Sean Lux and they had their inaugural flight (or “mission”) on November 9, 2013, the weekend before Veterans Day. They are about to embark on Mission 12 on October 29, 2016.

A Day in the Life of Honor Flight
The trip is a one day whirlwind that starts with the two hour direct flight to Washington, DC. It is a hero’s welcome in DC in the mid-morning and the veterans, each assigned one volunteer (called a “guardian”), make their way to buses to start their tour. The stops include the World War II Memorial, the Korean and Vietnam Memorials, Arlington National Cemetery for the changing of the guard ceremony, and the Iwo Jima Memorial. At each stop, the reception of the public to the veterans, recognizable with their Honor Flight shirts and baseball hats, is incredibly welcoming and expressive of gratitude for their military service.

History of Honor Flight
The National Honor Flight Network was started in 2005, a year after the World War II Memorial was completed, by Earl Morse, a retired Air Force Captain who was a physician’s assistant in a medical clinic in Ohio.  He wanted to make sure that his veteran patients were able to see their memorial when they otherwise would not be able to due to their financial or physical limitations. Honor Flight started with small private planes. It now has 130 nation-wide hubs, flies on commercial airlines, and has transported over 150,000 veterans.

Upcoming Mission 12 for Collier County Honor Flight
Collier County Honor Flight Mission 12 is scheduled for October 29, 2016 and will be taking off from Fort Myers (RSW) Airport early in the morning on a 6am flight, and returning at 8:45pm. Any veterans or volunteer guardians who would like to go on an Honor Flight, either for Mission 12 or a future flight (flights resume Spring 2017 after a winter break; Collier County Honor Flight traditionally runs two spring and two fall flights) should submit their applications to Collier County Honor Flight. The community is also requested to come out and serenade our veterans upon their return on October 29, 2016 at 8:45pm, giving them the welcome home that many never received before.

It is privilege for our community to have our local veterans be able to take advantage of registering for this incredible experience at no cost, and for our community to be able to get involved in supporting and participating in this experience with our local veterans.

Event: Honor Flight Mission 12 Welcome Home
at Fort Myers Airport (RSW)
Event date: October 29, 2016
Time: 8:45pm – 9:45pm
How to register as a veteran or a guardian for an upcoming flight: complete a form online at www.collierhonorflight.org or email for more information: Sean@CollierHonorFlight.org


This Article does not constitute legal advice and may not be relied upon as such.  Each individual’s facts and circumstances are different. If you have any questions regarding your particular situation, please consult with legal counsel.

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