OREANDA-NEWS. September 26, 2016. American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), in conjunction with the Honor Flight Network, will bring 180 World War II, Korean and Vietnam War veterans from Asheville, N.C. to Washington D.C. to spend the day with their memorials on Saturday, September 24. This historic flight marks not only the 10th anniversary of Americans partnership with the Honor Flight Network, but also Americans 500th Honor Flight since the first one arrived at Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) in 2006.

Ten years ago when the Honor Flight Network asked for our help they were using private planes to take a few veterans at a time to Washington D.C. to see the memorials built in their honor. In the time since our partnership began, we have transported thousands of our nations bravest veterans from across the country to see their memorials, said

David Seymour, senior vice president, Integrated Operations at American and graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. This partnership means so much to Americans employees and we are all proud to serve as their longest commercial airline partner. Our flight and airport crews dedicate their time to work these flights and make sure these heroes know how much they mean to all of us.

Chicago-based flight attendant

Rosalia Villanueva-Whiteman is a member of the volunteer crew this weekend and is looking forward to participating in her first Honor Flight. My son recently committed to West Point. Ive always appreciated those who have taken the time to serve our country, but its now taken on a whole new meaning, said Rosalia. Im honored to spend the day with our veterans and volunteer my time to such a great cause.

In addition to the pilots and flight attendants who donate their time, DCA-based Customer Care Agent

Greg Locher serves as the volunteer organizer for all of DCA's Honor Flights and has been involved since day one. This week he is pulling out all the stops to make the veterans arrival meaningful: a water cannon salute, red carpet, honor guard formations, a choir with a 39 piece band, swing dancers and more.  

The veterans will receive a police escort through Washington D.C. as they visit several memorials. At the Korean War Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery veterans will participate in wreath laying ceremonies.

To have the opportunity to visit our specific memorial, collectively, as we did in combat, is a true and solemn honor, said USMC Captain (Ret.)

T. Hilliard Staton, Korean War Veteran. American Airlines and Blue Ridge Honor Flight are providing us with a very special gift by making it possible for so many of us to stand in awe before a monument dedicated to all who served during this long three year war. We are deeply appreciative.