Contact Info

Honor Flight of Southern Colorado

Phone: 719-258-9946, Fax 719-392-3737
PO Box 50816
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80949



Gazette Article from Veteran's Day 2012

 Check out our feature in Market Treasury Magazine!


ife, Business, News

WWII vets take flight of a lifetime


2012-10-12 19:04:46

One soldier delivered a thundering counterpunch to countless shelling attacks in the battle for Rome — 6,000 artillery rounds in three days. Another delivered a French woman’s baby after sneaking behind Nazi lines, all the while keeping watch for German soldiers patrolling nearby.

They were young. But these “kids” proved hardy, Howard Pease remembers.

“Had we all been 40, we would have been a lot more cautious,” said Pease, 86, while chuckling.

Sixty-seven years after those “kids” reigned victorious, Pease and 13 other World War II veterans once again showed a bit of that youthful energy. Nearly two hours before dawn, they boarded buses for the Colorado Springs Airport, where a plane waited to take them to Washington D.C. for the latest southern Colorado Honor Flight.

The program pays about $800 for each veterans’ trip to the National World War II Memorial, which was completed in spring 2004.

Twelve veterans flew on the first trip in June funded by Honor Flight of Southern Colorado, a nonprofit organization created in 2011 to raise money to get veterans to the memorial. Another 86 veterans remain on the organization’s waiting list.

Assistants helping to escort the veterans pay their own plane tickets.

Moments before leaving, members of the Colorado Patriot Guard and several Fort Carson soldiers shook their hands and listiened to their war stories.

“They have so much to share — so much history that we don’t even know,” said retired Armt Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Cisneros.

“We’re just hoping that they stay alive long enough to go,” added Chet Dean, a retired Army major and chaplain.

Eight veterans were Army, with two of those soldiers serving in the Army Air Corps. Five veterans were in the Navy and one served in the Marine Corps.

Their stories stretched from behind Nazi lines to Tokyo Bay.

Pease, a Navy electrician’s mate 3rd class, served aboard ships that delivered food and water to troops in the Atlantic.

A Navy radioman, James Welty, 86, was aboard the USS San Diego when it became the one of the first Navy warship to pull into Tokyo Bay for the end of the war in 1945. Japanese guns lined the bay’s shore, each pointed down and absent a gunner.

“We weren’t so sure that the Japanese — because they had Pearl Harbor in mind — weren’t setting us up for a trap,” Welty said.

On Friday morning — his 98th birthday — Adolph Wolff shared the story of another boy’s birth.

Fighting with the 100th Infantry Division, Wolff’s unit first survived a hurricane-tossed trip across the Atlantic and faced “savage” combat against the Nazis as they marched across France.

One day, while in the basement of a bombed-out house, they noticed a man walking outside with a lantern. The Frenchman’s wife, they later discovered, was in labor at a nearby farmhouse and needed a doctor.

“Nosey me, I turned my gun and they made me a medic,” Wolff said.

It wasn’t until after delivering the baby that Wolff realized he had crossed into Nazi territory.

Wolff later revisited the house and met the boy he delivered — an experience he often shares with a wide grin.

As he prepared for Friday’s trip — this time to the nation’s war memorial — he grinned again.

“I’m getting rewarded,” Wolff said, laughing.

Contact Jakob Rodgers: 476-1654

Twitter @jakobrodgersFacebook Jakob Rodgers

© Copyright 2012 Freedom Communications. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | User Agreement | Site Map




Woodmen Edition

June 29, 2012 Volume XX, Number 26

WWII Vets Honored with Visit to Washington D.C.

he Woodmen Edition 620

By Gail harrison

It was a heart-touching red, white and blue moment with laughter and tears. WWII veterans wearing red polo shirts and red hats stepped down from two white shuttle vans with guardians in blue polo shirts. Escorted by Patriot Guard Riders, the veterans arrived home from a fantastic trip to Washington D.C. as flag waving family members and friends greeted the returning heroes. Patriotic handmade quilts for the vets were displayed and ready for gifting. This was the scene at the welcome home ceremony at the Academy Hotel in June.

Many people worked together to create a memorable event. Honor Flight provided the free trip to the veterans. Patriot Guard Riders rode as escort to and from DIA. Honor Hands cast the veteran’s hands at the preflight luncheon and then brought the finished plaques to present to “The Greatest Generation.” Members of “Quilts

From The Heart” showed up unexpectedly with a patriotic Quilt of Honor for each veteran. The vets who made the historic journey were Albert Krall, Robert Zecha, Merle Kneebone, Kenneth Wagner, Donald Carbaugh, John Bledsoe, Iona (Sherm) Connolly, Donald Knapp, Robert Walters, Wayne Henry and Roberta Henry (married68 years) and Raymond Cook.

Videographer Emilio Martinez, accompanied the entourage, recording all the events from the preflight luncheon to the welcome home ceremony. He said, “We wanted to capture the event and support Honor

Flight.” He recorded personal stories, many shared for the first time. “Honor Flight and Honor Hands are providing a valuable service as they honor these world war two vets who are getting older and are being

forgotten,” Martinez said. Martinez’s associate, TripUhalt, a Briargate resident, helped video local events. He

said, “I’m so happy the vets had an opportunity to go on the Honor Flight. It was touching to see them relive moments of joy and pain and to see their tears of appreciation when they were welcomed home with such

a happy and honorable return.” The veterans had an opportunity to remember and reflect on their wartime experiences at the World War II Memorial (dedicated in their honor in 2004.) They visited the Tomb of the

Unknown Soldier and other historic monuments. They were excited to meet Bob Dole, also a World War II veteran, and his wife Elizabeth, at Arlington Cemetery. Dole shook each person’s hand and spoke to each one.

An emotional moment happened at the Iwo Jima Marine Monument. Raymond Cook stood quietly, contemplating the bronze statue. He shed tears as he said he witnessed the raising of that flag. His granddaughter said she never knew her granddad had been present at the flag raising on Iwo Jima. “It’s an amazing honor to be with these vets,” said Sal Ingraldi, President of Honor Flight of Southern Colorado.“We are better people for knowing them. We appreciate them.”Ingraldi accompanied the vets to Washington as a guardian.

In this case, a guardian is not a legal representative but a companion, roommate and care person. Other guardians were Lana Fore-Warkocz, Grady Mitchell, Richard Joyce, Alice Burch, Michael Lenhart and

Richard Jones. Fore-Warkocz, vice president of Honor Flight of Southern Colorado, said she had a strong

desire to be involved when she first heard about Honor Flight a year ago. She said, “Most vets either can’t afford to go or don’t have the care they need for such a trip. Having a guardian makes it possible. Also a doctor or nurse is present on each flight.” Her father, James Fore, a WWII vet, was shot down after his 28th mission and imprisoned in Hitler’s Buchenwald Concentration Camp and later Stalag Luft III. Lana wanted to see her dad go on the Honor Flight. Sadly, he passed    Continued on page 8


Page 8 June 29, 2012


away April 5. The inaugural flight was dedicated to Fore; and to another vet, Walter Hanson, who was also slated to go but passed away in October.

The trip to D.C. to visit the World War II Memorial, Arlington Cemetery and other memorials was a dream-come-true. Honor Flight makes the flight possible as a tribute to “veterans from the generation who served their country, saved their country and then came back to build America.”

Jerry Vinnola and Chet Karlowski, owners of Honor Hands, a Christian-based organization that makes casts of hands to preserve memories, volunteered to cast a hand of each veteran. When Jerry’s wife, Anne, a writer, first heard about the inaugural Honor Flight, she was determined to go along. She said, “We have to honor these vets - record their memories.” Younger family members helped with the casting and said they enjoyed chatting with the elderly folks.

Ingraldi said it was a joy to accompany the vets. He said, even at their advanced age, with frailties and health concerns, they were cooperative, appreciative and never once complained. Planning was so well coordinated and the trip and so successful, 95-year-old Sherm Connolly, one of the first U.S. WACs, quipped, “Never in my life have I seen anything so well organized. Everything went so smoothly, they (the organizers) ought to be running the government.”

We are losing World War II veterans at an estimated 1000 per day. Honor Flight promises to do whatever it takes to fulfill the dreams of our veterans and help them travel absolutely free. If you would like to help send Colorado WWII vets on a once in-a-lifetime trip to Washington where they can visit the memorials to their generation before it’s too late, your tax free donation would be greatly appreciated and may be made online or by check.Visit or email





Honor Hands of Colorado Joining Veterans Group Journeying to Washington D.C.
Event: Southern Co. Honor Flight trip with WWII Veterans to Washington D.C.
When: June 14th – 17th
Where: The Academy Hotel, 8110 N. Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80920
Contact: Jerry Vinnola of Honor Hands/SDI
Phone: 719-275-3170
Colorado Springs, CO (June 11, 2012) – Honor Hands, an organization who designs products and the process of creating lifelike hand molds to commemorate and honor those who have served our country, is proud to participate in the inaugural Honor Flight of Southern Colorado which will be held on June 15th, 2012.
Honor Hands is joining with Honor Flight of Southern Colorado, an organization created solely to honor America's Veterans for all their sacrifices, launched with the intent of sending our Southern Colorado WWII Veterans to Washington D.C. to visit the WWII Memorial along with other National landmarks.
“Honor Hands is pleased to have the honor of casting each veteran’s hand the afternoon of the 14th during the Pre-flight luncheon at the Academy Hotel,” said Jerry Vinnola of Honor Hands. “As we cast the hands of these heroes on June 14th, we will also be gathering their stories and photos. Then on Sunday the 17th at 6:30pm, these veterans are all coming back from their trip to Washington D.C. and we will present the casted hands to them at the post flight event which will also be held at the Academy Hotel, 8110 North Academy Boulevard, Colorado Springs, CO 80920.
Our Honor Hands videographer, Emilio Martinez along with Anne Vinnola published author and writer will also be documenting this historic Honor Flight during the flight to DC and sharing it on our website at and at We at Honor Hands want to show these heroes how much we appreciate their sacrifice and commitment to our country by preserving memories through their casted hands and video documentation of this historic flight.”
“We will take our first round of WWII veterans who have been waiting years for this flight,” said Lana Fore-Warkocz of Honor Flight of Southern Colorado. “We will be sending out information on our send-off, so please visit our website at as to the location on the morning of the June 15th so you can help us give them a trip they will never forget. Honor Flight of Southern Colorado transports our WWII veterans to Washington D.C. so they can visit and reflect on their memorial. Top priority was given to our most senior veterans and those who may be terminally ill. Of all the wars in our current memory, it was WWII that truly threatened our very existence as a nation. Honor Flight of Southern Colorado and the Honor Flight Network is our way of paying a small tribute to those who gave so much to fight for our freedoms giving them a rewarding tour of honor. Please
join us in sending off the Veterans going on the Inaugural Flight of Honor Flight of Southern Colorado.”
Events to include:
Honor Flight Pre-Flight Luncheon:
Join Congressman Doug Lamborn and Major General J. Anderson of Ft. Carson at the Honor Flight Pre-Flight Luncheon which is scheduled for June 14th at 12 noon at The Academy Hotel, 8110 N. Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80920. The cost is $10.00 per person but free to our WWII Veterans. Please RSVP to and come enjoy lunch with these amazing heroes. Let’s show them our appreciation. Any and all guests are welcome!
Honor Flight Send-Off:
June 15, 2012 5:15 a.m. at the Academy Hotel
Honor Flight Post Flight Welcome Home:
June 17, 2012 6:30 p.m. at the Academy Hotel. Please join us in welcoming back the Veterans from their Inaugural Flight of Honor Flight of Southern Colorado.
All are invited to be at the send-off and arrival!
For more info on Honor Hands, please contact Jerry Vinnola at 719-275-3170 or go online to
For more info on Honor Flight, please contact: Lana Fore-Warkocz at 719-287-8890. For some background history on Honor Flight and our mission, visit our national website: or
# # #
Seiko Tran – Seiko Marketing – 719.235.8373 or

Contact: Lana Fore-Warkocz
May 4th, 2012


Colorado Springs- Honor Flight of Southern Colorado will be taking our first flight on June 15th, 2012. This comes one year from the time we became a 501( C ) 3 non-profit organization.
We will take our first round of WWII veterans who have been waiting years for this flight. We will be sending out information on our send-off, so please visit our website as to the location on the morning of the June 15th so you can help us give them a trip they will never forget.
Honor Flight of Southern Colorado transports our WWII veterans to Washington D.C. so they can visit and reflect on their memorial. Top priority was given to our most senior veterans and those who may be terminally ill.
Of all the wars in our current memory, it was WWII that truly threatened our very existence as a nation.
Honor Flight of Southern Colorado and the Honor Flight Network is our way of paying a small tribute to those who gave so much to fight for our freedoms a rewarding, safe and rewarding tour of honor.
Please consider donating to our cause. Visit for more information.

Non profit races against time for WWII veterans

2012-04-10 08:29:21

Lana Fore-Warkocz races against time.

She fervently believes that all World War II veterans should have a chance to visit the war’s memorial in Washington, D.C.

But they’re dying faster than donations are coming in — at least to Honor Flight of Southern Colorado, a fledgling local chapter of a national nonprofit that sends World War II and terminally ill veterans to the capital free of charge.

For Fore-Warkocz, the mission is personal.

In March of last year she attended a meeting of individuals interested in starting an Honor Flight Network “hub” that would serve Pikes Peak-area veterans.

She attended at the urging of her father, former 1st Lt. James Fore, a World War II veteran who served in the Army Air Corps and spent time as a POW in a German concentration camp.

“I told my dad what they wanted to start, and he said, ‘Do whatever you have to do to get this going,’” said Fore-Warkocz, who eventually became vice president of the organization’s executive board.

Days later, Fore was diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer. He died the following month.

“He never got to go on the first flight,” Fore-Warkocz said. “That was the whole thing, to get him to go on the first flight. I was like, ‘We cannot allow this to continue.’”

Fore’s dying request was that donations be made to Honor Flight in lieu of flowers.

“He wanted to make sure that his comrades got to go because it was that important to him,” Fore-Warkocz said.

A year later, the organization is preparing to send 12 veterans and four guardians on its first trip, to take place in June. It has $10,000 in its coffers. But at an average cost of $1,000 per veteran, the charity remains a couple thousand short.

Determined to proceed with the flight, board members will dig into their own pockets if they need to.

“We made a promise, an oath that if we did not have enough for the first flight, we’d chip in,” Fore-Warkocz said.

The trip will mirror a typical honor flight and include a departure rally, an airport greeting by congressmen and visits to each memorial on the National Mall and Arlington National Cemetery.

But it’s the trip’s little details that just might pack the most meaningful punch.

“When we leave, a veterans’ motorcycle group will follow us up to (Denver),” Fore-Warkocz said. “We got approval to let the veterans skip security. We have school children write letters to the veterans, and they get to read them on the airplane.”

Fore-Warkocz has yet to accompany veterans on an honor flight but will do so in June at her own expense.

Retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sal Ingraldi knows the magic of an honor flight trip firsthand.

Like Fore-Warkocz, he attended the initial Southern Colorado hub meeting — and walked out as president of the executive board.

A short time later he was on an honor flight sponsored by the Rocky Mountain hub, which serves Denver.

“Seeing all the people in the airport as they announced that there were World War II veterans coming through was pretty amazing,” Ingraldi said. “People were cheering for them and clapping for them and shaking hands and thanking them — stuff they had not gotten when they came home.

The orgazization’s waiting list is 87 veterans long. It hopes to send several of them on another flight in September.

Ingraldi would eventually like to see the charity sponsor four full flights of veterans each year — but that would require money that the organization does not yet have.

“We’re still working on raising the funds and we’ll continue to,” Ingraldi said. “I don’t really know the word ‘quit.’ We need some sponsors and we need some volunteers who are willing to spend some of their time helping us organize, helping us fundraise.”

His message to potential donors: Consider where the country might be were it not for the sacrifices of World War II.

“We enjoy all these freedoms we have today: the liberty to do pretty much anything we want, to pursue anything we want,” he said. “Without these World War II veterans, we can’t say definitively that we’d have those rights and freedoms.”


© Copyright 2012 Freedom Communications. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | User Agreement | Site Map