Indy Honor Flight Information


To All Veterans and Veteran Organizations:
Just wanted to let you know that another flight of 70 World War II Veterans went to Washington, DC on Saturday, September 6th.
There are two more flights scheduled from Indianapolis and one from Evansville, IN.
At the conclusion of each flight (except for Evansville) there will be a Welcome Home Celebration at Plainfield High School around 8:30 – 8:45 PM.
You are all encouraged to attend this Welcome Home…there are no fees or costs associated with this event. There’s plenty of parking, there will be padded bleacher seats to sit on, the Indianapolis 500 Gordon Pipers will be there to keep things lively, Major Ryan Core will be the Emcee and the Honored Guests will be 70 World War II Veterans who will have just returned from a special day during which they got to see their Memorial and some other sights, culminating with a stop at Arlington National Ceremony where they will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
As an aside, the ages of these men and women veterans range from 83 to 96, and they served all over the European and Pacific Theatres of War.
I guarantee you, if you can make it, it will be an experience you won’t soon forget.
Remember, Saturday…October 18th, November 8th …Plainfield High School…arrive between 8:00 and 8:30 PM and be prepared to cheer these veterans home.

Semper Fidelis
Mike Wukitsch
Indy Honor Flight Liaison
Department of Indiana
Marine Corps League

Indy Honor Flight

See our calendar entries for each homecoming:

Presentating at the 2013 Legion Membership Workshop

Past District Commander Rich Brown, Post Commander Kevin Mezger, and Post Adjutant Eric Thomas participated in a few sessions at the 2013 American Legion Membership Workshop in downtown Indianapolis early in August.  Here are the slides from the presentation.

Download (PDF, 2.01MB)

pdf_iconDownload the presentation here

Guest Post: “Our Disengaged Younger Veterans”

A discussion that Vice-Commander Kim Mezger started in the American Legion LinkedIn group saw a response from one of the members there. With permission from the author, Bridget Ludwa O’Hanlon, here is the full article:

This article originally appears in the July/August 2013 Issue of Cleveland’s DD 214 Chronicle,


Our Disengaged Younger Veterans

Anyone who belongs to their local veteran’s organization is aware of the absence of the younger veteran population. I technically belong to an American Legion Post in my hometown, but between my work commute and continued military service, it’s often difficult to motivate myself to go to meetings regularly. I suppose it doesn’t help that I’m the youngest member, and there seem to be only a handful of other Post 9/11 era veterans. What gives?

Let’s consider recent American military history. Our WWII veterans returned home after a glorious victory in war, one in which our entire nation was geared up for. In less than a decade, the Korean War followed on the heels of our GI’s celebrated return. In stark contrast to their brothers old enough to fight in WWII, we were not engaged as a nation, and our Korean War veterans endured the quiet failure of the “Forgotten War.” Again, in short order, we found ourselves entrenched in foreign battle, this time in Vietnam. Not only did our nation lack the rally cry so often heard during WWII, but public criticism of the war went so far as to demonize the troops themselves. Vietnam veterans shared the crushing experience of failure with their Korean War brethren.

This next part is important: after experiencing decades of war, with intermittent periods of peace, the United States ended the draft and found itself in a period of relative peace, despite Cold War tensions, for about 15 years. The first war our all-volunteer force would face would not be until 1990 and would last only a few months – Desert Storm/Desert Shield. This war was the first time since WWII that our nation would rally support for our troops. Once again, our nation experienced a peaceful lull, one abruptly halted on September 11, 2001. Since then, our troops have engaged in the Global War on Terror, and generally enjoy our nation’s support. Equipment technology advances, however, coupled with multiple deployments, have resulted in injuries rarely seen in the past: traumatic brain injury, severe anxiety and other mental health issues.

How does this history lesson relate to our aging veterans organizations? This history has a direct influence on how our veterans relate to each other. Our WWII veterans have enjoyed a special status, stemming from their war experience and the nation’s support. Our Korean and Vietnam War veterans have either a defiant and proud celebration of their service (precisely because they were overlooked and even spat on) or they shun it entirely. Between relative peace after Vietnam, and the Gulf War’s brief duration, there lies a wide generational gap between our Post 9/11 veterans and their predecessors. Additionally, most Post 9/11 veterans are far more digitally connected to each other, between texting and social media, versus their older counterparts. The point: each generation’s post war experiences and needs are unique to their generation; this is amplified in our younger veterans because of the generation gap.

What can veterans organizations do to welcome our younger veterans? Start slow. Recognize the gaps. Recognize the lack of diversity in many organizations, and understand that will have to be taken into consideration with recruiting (race, gender, religion, service experience). Many younger veterans have parents who served, so see if those parents are members as a means to engage – I attend Legion meeting with my parents, because it creates a more comfortable space for me as a younger, female, noncombat veteran. Empower the younger veterans. Invite them to speak their voice, encourage the older members to consider a new way of doing something. As we start to engage, we’ll create familiar space for our Post 9/11 peers. These are only suggestions, and may not be the solution. The point is to first acknowledge why our younger veterans might not be as engaged as previous generations, in order to be creative in attempting to engage that population.

Bridgetby Bridget Ludwa O’Hanlon

Indiana Legislative Successes this Year

 Many thanks to all the Legionnaires that helped get this legislation passed!

Senate Bill 115 Signing

Signing of Senate Bill 115 with Governor Pence

New laws reinforcing Indiana’s commitment to members of the armed forces and our veterans:

  • SEA 177 – Allows for veterans returning from duty out of state or overseas to qualify for in-state tuition at Indiana’s public colleges and universities.
  • SEA 115 – Creates the “combat to college” program, which will provide veterans attending state colleges and universities with centralized services specific to their needs.
  • SEA 564 – Expands state contracting opportunities for veteran-owned businesses.
  • SEA 290 – Gives those who have been medically trained in the military an easier transition into emergency medical professions after they return to civilian life.

Collection Drive and Cookout For Homeless Veterans

HVAF of Indiana, Inc.


Saturday, June 22, 5:30 pm
Hoosier Veterans Assistance     Foundation
964 N. Pennsylvania St.
(Parking across 10th Street)

The Veterans@IUPUI, IUPUI Legion Post 360, and VFP49 are hosting a drive to collect items for the homeless veterans served by the HVAF.

The items most needed include:

Food and Hygiene Items Clothing and Personal Items
Manual can openers
Canned meat (tuna, chicken, etc.)
Canned fruit and soups
Pasta and pasta sauce
Peanut butter
Peanut butter
Spaghetti sauce
Bottled sports drinks
Shaving cream
Underwear (NEW!)
Boxers, briefs, undershirts
All types and all sizes
Bath towels
Wash cloths
Twin sheet sets
Twin blankets
Pillow cases

Please bring your donations to HVAF on June 22, and stay for a cookout!  This is a time to talk and share with veterans who have not been as fortunate as many of us.  If you cannot come to the cookout, please drop your donations off at HVAF beforehand or at the Office for Veterans & Military Personnel (CE 050).


Thank  you,

 IUPUI Office for Veterans & Military Personnel
420 University Blvd., CE 050
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Fax: 317-278-6477



See the event on our calendar:

February Chili Dinner at HVAF

In February we planned a chili dinner at HVAF. It was a wonderful and PACKED event. Below are some of the highlights. Look for our next event in May/June, a Cook Out at HVAF.

Here are a few photos from the event:

Service line –

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Upcoming April Events

7th Annual Operation: Hire A Hoosier Vet Career Fair

April 10 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds – Indiana’s largest military and veteran focused career fair is back bigger than ever. Job seekers come prepared to find your next job… and employers be prepared to be blown away by the experience and skills an veteran can bring to your company. Registration is HIGHLY encouraged for both veterans and employers.  [mantra-button-color url=”” color=”#47AFFF”]See Event[/mantra-button-color]

Wartorn: 1861-2010 (Shining Light Film Festival Screening)

April 12 at the IUPUI Campus Center Klipsch Theater – Civil War doctors called it hysteria, melancholia and insanity. During the First World War it was known as shell-shock. By World War II, it became combat fatigue. Today, it is clinically known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a crippling anxiety that results from exposure to life-threatening situations such as combat.  With suicide rates among active military servicemen and veterans currently on the rise, the HBO special WARTORN 1861-2010 brings urgent attention to the invisible wounds of war.  [mantra-button-color url=”” color=”#47AFFF”]See Event[/mantra-button-color]