Mission 56 News Release

Honor Flight Rochester Gives Veterans Their Homecoming

Mission 56 Veterans will be Honored Sunday, Oct. 1.

They left their homes and families to serve their country in the U.S. armed forces during some of the most tumultuous and tense times of their generation. They often returned home with little fanfare. It is now Honor Flight Rochester’s (HFR) privilege to welcome home the 47 veterans (one woman and 46 men) of Mission 56.  The homecoming is Sunday, Oct. 1 at the Greater Rochester International Airport.  This is HFR’s fifth mission of 2017.

The Mission 56 veterans served during World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, and in the era in the 1950s – 1960s often referred to as the “cold war.”

These veterans served in the U.S. Army (18), the U.S. Navy (15), the U.S. Air Force (8), the U.S. Marines (3), the U.S. Army Air Corps (2), and one veteran did service in both the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy.

The two-day HFR trip to Washington D.C. to visit the nation’s memorials is free for World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, and veterans who served between 1947 – 1964. It’s also open to veterans of any era who suffer a catastrophic illness.

Flights are possible through community gifts and contributions. To date, HFR has taken 2,634 on their honor flight. Veterans are encouraged to register for their honor flight at honorflightrochester.org.  Paper applications are also available.

DEPARTURE DATE:  Saturday, Sept. 30 departs at 6:25 a.m.

RETURN DATE: Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. FLIGHT: Southwest Airlines Flight #3658.


PUBLIC WELCOME CELEBRATION: Approximately 1:10 p.m. after all veterans disembark the plane.

WHERE: Greater Rochester International Airport.

EMCEE:  Ginny Ryan, 13WHAM-TV.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Jim Barger, President, Rochester Market, KeyBank. Commander, U.S. Navy.

NATIONAL ANTHEM:  Arnie Rychliki and Tom Allen.

COLOR GUARD:  U.S. Navy Reserve.

MUSIC: All In Brass Band

HONOR GUARD: Patriot Guard Riders (pgrny.org).

James R. Barger is president of the Rochester Market as well as Commercial Banking Sales Leader for the Rochester Market for KeyBank N.A. Prior to joining KeyBank, Barger held several positions in banking and industry. He was a commander (active duty: 1986-1991; reserve 1992 – 2006) and nuclear submarine officer in the U.S. Navy.  He served on U.S.S. Benjamin Franklin (SSBN 640) from 1986-89 and the U.S.S. Batfish from 1990-91. He is a Gulf War veteran. Barger holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Michigan and a master’s in business administration from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. Barger is a Board Member of the Memorial Art Gallery, the Rochester Museum & Science Center, and Rochester Prep. Barger and his wife Rita and their four children live in Pittsford. He is an avid bicyclist and skier.

Honor Flight Rochester (www.honorflightrochester.org) – one of 135 established hubs in 42 states the national Honor Flight Network – is a not-for-profit, fully-volunteer organization with a goal of taking every World War II, Korean War, or Vietnam War veteran from the Greater Rochester area who otherwise would or could not go, to visit and reflect together at Washington D.C. Memorials built in their honor. The two-day HFR trip is free to all World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, and veterans who served during the years 1947 – 1964 (“Cold War”). It’s also open to veterans of any era who suffer a catastrophic illness. Rochester’s flying season is April to October. To date, 2,634 veterans have now flown from the Greater Rochester area since the local organization began full-scale flights in early 2009.

View our past Mission photos at:  www.honorflightrochester.shutterfly.com

Mission 76 (58 vets)
April 15-16
Mission 77 (58 vets)
May 13-14
Mission 78 (59 vets)
June 17-18
Unfortunately veterans cannot choose what flight they will travel on due to medical and logistic issues associated with the flight process. We also encourage veterans from the Syracuse and Buffalo area's to visit and register with their local Honor Flight hubs before registering with Rochester Honor Flight.