FINDLAY — For the first time in its history, Flag City Honor Flight, the local hub of the National Honor Flight Network, is planning for four flights in its upcoming 2023 flight season.
One of those flights will be an all-Vietnam-era Veteran flight sponsored by the Don Templin family in honor of Scott Atkins. The 2023 flights departing from the Grand Aire Terminal in Toledo will be April 18, June 13, Sept. 12 and Nov. 7.
FCHF also has a new leader. Steve Schult is now president and flight director, succeeding longtime president and flight director Bob Weinberg. Schult, who recently retired from local public accounting firm Gilmore Jasion Mahler LTD, became an active FCHF supporter and was quickly identified for a leadership role with the nonprofit.
Weinberg, president of Flag City Honor Flight for over a decade, said now is the time for the leadership change, and Schult is the right choice.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that Steve Schult will make his mark as FCHF president and flight director,” he said. “Steve’s leadership and professional skills, business knowledge, active community service in retirement, and most importantly his energy and passion for Flag City Honor Flight, will bring many successes in the years ahead.”
Schult has similar praise for Weinberg, who plans to remain active, assisting with the leadership transition.
“As a past sentinel guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Bob Weinberg was the perfect person to lead Flag City Honor Flight,” Schult said. “His passion for the organization and his desire to help Veterans get to see their memorials in Washington, D.C. was evident to everyone. While he will be stepping away from the president/flight director role, I know he will still do all he can to help us complete future successful missions.”
Flag City Honor Flight currently has 550 veterans waiting to fly. The organization anticipates working through a good portion of that list of applications in 2023 and encourages other veterans to come forward and submit applications. FCHF is also in need of guardians for the 2023 flight season. Guardians are paired with veterans as their chaperones for the daylong visit to the memorials in Washington, D.C.
FCHF serves veterans from World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War eras. Due to a long waiting list of Vietnam War-era veterans, the nonprofit offered its first all Vietnam-era flight last year, with a November flight sponsored by Findlay-based Ohio Logistics. This year’s Templin family sponsored flight in June will be the second all Vietnam-era flight. The organization hopes to continue to offer all Vietnam-era flights in the future with the help of corporate and individual sponsors.
Veterans interested in flying with Flag City Honor Flight and those interested in being a guardian are encouraged to submit their applications now. Individuals who have already submitted applications do not need to submit another application. FCHF is also seeking volunteers.
Flag City Honor Flight is a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and part of the National Honor Flight Network. The nonprofit started flying in June of 2010 and since then has flown 1,400 veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials built in their honor.