As a mesothelioma lawyer, I have represented hundreds of World War II veterans who were exposed to asbestos on Navy ships, as well as those who worked tirelessly to build these ships. It is sad to think that those WWII veterans who contracted mesothelioma will never have the opportunity to visit the DC Memorial built in their honor. So I was especially happy to recently read about the “Honor Flight Network” that helps those WWII veterans who are still with us make a visit to their memorial a reality. The most recent group to benefit was from Wisconsin.
This spring, the Honor Flight Network gave a group of World War II Veterans from Wisconsin the opportunity at last to see the WWII memorial. This volunteer organization was started in 2005 by Earl Morse, a physical assistant and retired Air Force Captain. In 2004, when Earl was working for a small clinic in Springfield, Ohio, all of his veteran patients were a buzz about the completion of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Sadly, due to age, lack of funds, and physical limitations, he knew many of the veterans would never get the chance to visit their beloved memorial. Earl decided there had to be a way to get these World War II veterans to Washington D.C..
A Volunteer Program Is Born
In early 2005, Earl spoke to members at an aero club outlining a volunteer program to fly WWII veterans to their memorial. There were only two stipulations of his program, 1. The veterans pay nothing 2. Pilots personally escort veterans around D.C. for the day. Numerous volunteers approached Earl after his speech asking if they could help. From this speech, the Honor Flight Network was born.
By the end of the program’s first year, 137 veterans had been flown to see the World War II memorial. In 2006 commercial airlines began to be used due to the growing number of veterans on the waiting list. By the end of that year, 891 World War II veterans across the United States made the memorable trip to the memorial in D.C.
The Honor Flight Network gives priority to World War II veterans and veterans who are terminally ill. Based on recent statistics World War II veterans die at the rate of 1,000 per day.
Veterans Lost to Asbestos-Related Deaths
Sadly, many World War II Navy veterans were exposed to asbestos while serving their country aboard Navy ships. Literally tons of asbestos insulating products were used on these ships during World War II. Exposure to this asbestos occurred during the operation, maintenance, and repair of these ships and led to many cases of mesothelioma.
Asbestos exposure is the cause of mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that does not develop until 20-40 or even 50 years after exposure to asbestos. World War II Navy Veterans are among the highest group at risk of developing this deadly disease.
Learn More About Navy Veterans Asbestos Exposure
The mesothelioma lawyers at Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman have had the honor of representing hundred of veterans including those who served in World War II.