July 12, 2013 - Friday, August 2, will be a very special day at AirVenture for our dedicated men and women in uniform as EAA features a daylong Salute to Veterans at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2013. Special events are scheduled from dawn until well after dark to honor veteran and active military, the courageous men and women who have served our country proudly.
The day begins with the first Yellow Ribbon Honor Flight for Vietnam veterans, conducted by the Old Glory Honor Flight Inc. in partnership with American Airlines and Oshkosh Corporation. The American Airlines 737 jet is scheduled to depart at 6:15 a.m. for Washington, D.C., where vets will visit memorials built in their honor.
American Airlines will sponsor a free breakfast for veterans, served from 8-9 a.m. in the EAA Partner Resource Center located near the intersection of Waukau Avenue and James Ray Boulevard. While the breakfast is free of charge, vets need to sign up in advance.
From 9 a.m.-3 p.m., veterans can pick up a free hat courtesy of Oshkosh Corporation and EAA Warbirds of America at the Warbirds Welcome Building, north of the orange wayfinding tower. Hats are available on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.
Several military-based programs and presentations will be held on the Main Plaza Stage at Phillips 66 Plaza throughout the day. American Airlines sponsors the stage on Friday. Leading off will be Matt Jolly, host of WarbirdRadio.com, emceeing a Vietnam tribute featuring Medal of Honor recipient Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady at 10 a.m., with a UH-1H Huey helicopter on display.
Other Main Plaza Stage events include:
• 11 a.m. - Bud Anderson, World War II Triple Ace, interviewed by David Hartman with a pair of P-51 Mustangs, Old Crow and Paul I.
• Noon - History of Warbirds of America and EAA, emceed by Matt Jolly featuring Bill Harrison, John Baugh, and others. Program concludes with a Warbirds of America video.
• 1 p.m. - A program about the PBY flying boat featuring an aircraft example and WW-II PBY pilot, Jack Morrissey.
The annual Veterans Parade presented by Oshkosh Corporation will begin at 1:30 in Warbirds Alley, winding its way to the Main Plaza Stage, where vets will be welcomed at 2:15 p.m. by DAV National Commander Larry Polzin, Gary Sinise, EAA Chairman Jack Pelton, a representative from Oshkosh Corporation, and EAA Warbirds of America President Harold Cannon.
Later Friday afternoon after the air show, the 100-plus Vietnam veterans on board the Yellow Ribbon Honor Flight are scheduled to return to Wittman Regional Airport pulling into the plaza at approximately 5:45-6 p.m. Oshkosh Corporation will provide a spectacular water cannon salute. As the vets exit the plane at around 6:25, singer Tony Orlando will perform his famous welcome home song, "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree," creating an incredibly emotional moment of closure for the vets and their families. Orlando appears courtesy of American Airlines.
The returning veterans will be greeted by EAA Chairman Jack Pelton with Old Glory Honor Flight President Drew MacDonald along with Vietnam War heroes Maj. Gen. Brady and Maj. Gen. John Borling. Jim Palmershiem, director of Veterans Initiatives at American Airlines, will take to the stage for remarks before a short break followed by Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band, which will crank up the tunes beginning at 7:30 p.m. The concert is sponsored by DAV and EAA Warbirds of America.
The evening concludes at Theater in the Woods as David Hartman conducts a one-on-one interview with Gen. Brady, beginning at 9 p.m.
Throughout the week veterans and active military who are not EAA members may purchase advance tickets online for only $32 - nearly 25 percent off the regular non-member ticket price. EAA-member military personnel will continue to enjoy the EAA-member rate, the lowest adult admission rate available to the event.
Veterans of all ages are welcome to participate in the Parade of Veterans.
Oshkosh Corporation provides a free hat to veterans while supplies last on EAA's Salute to Veterans Day on August 2.