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On Monday, a group of 76 House Republicans are pressuring President Biden’s administration to resume government escorts for “honor flights” that allow elderly veterans to visit war memorials in Washington, D.C. DC
Led by Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, the group is calling on Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Deb Haaland to re-authorize the United States Parks Police (USPP) to provide the tours with “vehicle escort services granted in previous years”.
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Honor Flights are organized by the private, nonprofit group Honor Flight Network, founded in 2005. According to the group’s website, its mission is to “celebrate American veterans by inviting them to share a day of honor to the memorials of our nation”. It flies veterans from all over the United States to DC, often with special medical accommodations, so they can see the memorials they would otherwise never have the chance to see.
“Since its inception, the Honor Flight Network has taken more than 245,000 World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War and terminally ill veterans on an all-expenses-paid trip to visit the capital of our country,” the 75 House Republicans said. “In order to accomplish its lofty vision, it is imperative that the DOI provide USPP escort services to Honor Flight Hubs expected to arrive this spring.”
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They added: “It is imperative that veterans – especially those with physical disabilities – have the parking access necessary to facilitate access to each war memorial in order to fully enjoy the experience they have. acquired.”
Among the 75 co-signers of the letter were House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, RN.Y., Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, Peter Meijer , R-Mich., Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., and more.
This is not the first effort by members of Congress to pressure the Department of the Interior on escorts for Honor Flight Network. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., led a letter with a bipartisan Florida congressional delegation last month.
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According to the Military Times, a DOI spokesperson said Haaland “is deeply committed to honoring the sacrifices that veterans and our families make,” but did not address Honor Flight Network escorts.
“As a nation, we owe it to our heroes to give them the highest honor and privilege they deserve on their honor flight to Washington, DC,” the House GOP letter also reads.
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