ORLANDO, Fla. – Actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise was in Orlando on Wednesday as his foundation sponsored a trip for veterans to visit the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.
During a special sendoff at Orlando International Airport, 28 World War II veterans were recognized for their service before boarding an American Airlines flight, the official airline parter of the Gary Sinise Foundation.
The journey is the 16th for the Soaring Valor Program, which has sponsored flights for 1,121 veterans
"Oh, I'm very excited. There's a lot to see, I know, and I'm hyped for the program," veteran Vern Cummings said.
During the three-day trip, the group will experience community building among students and other veterans and they'll able to reflect on their time spent defending freedom.
Once in New Orleans, a historian will be on hand to collect as many stories from veterans as possible.
"It's important for the greatest generation to pass those stories down to the younger generations. That's why we put these field trips together," Sinise said.
Since 2017, the program has been used as an educational opportunity for 203 students who have accompanied Soaring Valor veterans.
The group of veterans will visit the museum Thursday before returning to Orlando on Friday.