Largest Honor Flight in History to Assemble at WWII Memorial on September 28, 2013

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Ocean State Job Lot funds chartered planes from three airports for WWII veterans to visit nation’s capital in honor of their service.

On September 28, 2013, nearly 600 World War II veterans, their guardians, active duty military personnel, medical personnel, and other guests from New England and New York will travel to Washington, D.C. to visit the World War II Memorial. It is the largest, single Honor Flight tour of its kind in the history of the Honor Flight program.

Thanks to Ocean State Job Lot’s Charitable Foundation and the generosity of its customers who made donations at the retailer’s 110 stores throughout the region, the daylong trip comes at no cost to the veterans or their families and enables elderly WWII veterans to visit their memorial, which was dedicated in 2004, for the first time.

“It’s our way of giving the recognition and respect that we think these veterans deserve,” states Marc Perlman, owner/partner of Ocean State Job Lot, a leading closeout retailer based in Rhode Island with stores in six New England states and New York. “This trip, with chartered airplanes leaving from three different airports, brings veterans from all military service branches together along with their guardians, and marks the largest group of its kind ever to assemble at the World War II Memorial.”

Known as “Operation: Gratitude 2013,” three Southwest Airlines charters will leave T.F. Green (Providence, R.I.), MacArthur (Islip, N.Y.) and Logan (Boston) airports, respectively, early on the morning of Saturday, September 28, 2013, arriving at BWI Airport in Baltimore. From there, the honorees will travel by bus to the Memorial and, if time, to other sites as well before enjoying a special dinner in their honor at the Airport Hilton in Baltimore.

Established in 2004, the Honor Flight Network is a nonprofit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans, transporting them to Washington D.C. at no cost to them to visit and reflect at their memorials. The program was conceived in Springfield, OH by Earl Morse, a physician assistant, private pilot and retired Air Force Captain who wanted to honor the veterans he had cared for. At that time, the World War II Memorial had just been completed in D.C., yet many veterans were in their 80s and lacked the physical, mental and financial resources to visit it on their own. The first Honor Flight tour was made in 2005. Thereafter, a network of participating programs called “hubs” formed across America in order to pool resources, experiences and alliances to get veterans to their memorial safely. Presently there are 127 hubs in 41 states. The three hubs participating in “Operation: Gratitude 2013” are Honor Flight New England, Honor Flight Rhode Island (supported by the Rhode Island Association of Fire Chiefs) and Honor Flight Long Island.

“Of all the wars in recent memory, it was World War II that truly threatened our very existence as a nation, and as a culturally diverse, free society,” states Mr. Morse, founder of Honor Flight. “The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates 640 World War II veterans die each day. Our time to express our thanks to these brave men and women is running out. We thank Ocean State Job Lot for their generosity in keeping our group’s mission alive and bringing honor to their service.”

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ABOUT OCEAN STATE JOB LOT:
Founded in 1977, Ocean State Job Lot is a growing, privately held retail chain with 110 stores in New England and New York, approximately 4,000 employees, and annual sales exceeding $540 million. Job Lot sells brand name, first quality merchandise at closeout prices. Shoppers find an ever-changing array of household goods, apparel, pet supplies, seasonal products (gardening, pool supply, outdoor), and kitchen pantry staples at a fraction of their typical price. The Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation has a long history of philanthropic leadership, placing emphasis on local food banks in communities where Job Lot operates stores. The Foundation also supports medical and educational institutions, disaster relief efforts, the performing arts, our military service men and women, and special needs and foster children. Ocean State Job Lot is headquartered at 375 Commerce Park Road in the Quonset Point Business Park, North Kingstown, RI 02852. Phone: (401) 295-2672; Web: http://www.osjl.com

ABOUT HONOR FLIGHT NETWORK:
Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America's veterans for all their sacrifices. The group transports our nation’s heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill. Honor Flight, Inc. is headquartered at 300 E. Auburn Ave. in Springfield, OH 45505-4703. Phone: 937-521-2400; Web: http://www.honorflight.org

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David Sarlitto

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