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‘Honor Flight: One Last Mission’ screenings set

Honor Flight
Honor Flight

ELKINS — Two free showings of documentary “Honor Flight: One Last Mission” are scheduled for the July 29 and 30 at Cinema 8 Elkins in the Tygart Valley Mall.

The film about four veterans visiting the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., set the Guinness World Record for largest film screening in 2012.

The Elkins viewings are being presented by Mountain Hospice, in cooperation with Davis & Elkins College, Cinema 8 Elkins and VFW Post 3647 of Elkins and its Ladies Auxiliary.

Organizers said this is the first showing of the film, which is rated PG, in West Virginia. Show times are 6:30 p.m. on July 29 and 1 p.m. on July 30. at Cinema 8 Elkins in the Tygart Valley Mall. The film is rated PG. Due to limited seating for each show, reservations are required by calling Mountain Hospice at 304-823-3922. Tickets will be mailed or may be picked up at Mountain Hospice’s main office, 1600 Crim Ave. in Belington.

“Veterans who attend this community event will be honored and will leave knowing they are appreciated for the service they have given to our country,” said Mountain Hospice Director of Development Shannon Putnam. “Families and friends will also feel rewarded knowing the veterans are being honored and given an opportunity to learn more about the honor flight program.”

“The film is a heartwarming documentary about four living World War II veterans and a Midwest community coming together to give them the trip of a lifetime – a visit to the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. The 24-hour journey is full of surprises that deeply move all who are involved.”

“Honor Flight” features the stories of veterans Joe Demler and Harvey Kurz, who raise money to help as many of their fellow veterans as possible make the trip; Orville Lemke, a former plumber and father of nine who fights to hold off terminal cancer so he can make the trip; and Julian Plaster, an 89-year-old poet who has survived almost all of his friends and family. As the trip unfolds, the four men and others share their stories and wisdom.

“Honor Flight” was submitted for Academy Award consideration and has garnered many acclaims including Best of Festival Documentary Feature at the Richmond International Film Festival in 2013 and Best Documentary Audience Choice at the Omaha Film Festival in 2013.

Although the film chronicles the trip for four veterans, there are thousands of others who make the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. For many of these veterans who are in their late 80s and early 90s, it’s often the first time they’ve been thanked for their service, and the last trip of their lives.

While admission to the movie is free, donations will be optional at the door. Putnam says all funds collected will directly support the local “We Honor Veterans” program and the “Honor Flight” program. Mountain Hospice is a member of We Honor Veterans through the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. Mountain Hospice was the first Hospice in West Virginia to receive the highest level four star recognition through the “We Honor Veterans” program in 2011 and continues to be the only hospice in the state.

Davis & Elkins College has been named to the Military-Friendly School list for three consecutive years by Military Advanced Education, KMI Media Group, the premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life. D&E Associate Registrar and Veterans Liaison Officer Debbie Larkin says Military veterans represent an important and diverse demographic of the Davis & Elkins College student body. Among the services the College offers are a veteran ID card, a beautifully restored Veterans Lounge in historic Halliehurst, and the Veterans Upward Bound program.

Cinema 8 Elkins is wheelchair accessible. Mountain Hospice, D&E and the VFW will have representatives available to assist those attending the movie.

To learn more about the film, visit http://www.honorflightthemovie.com/.  For further information about the local screenings, call Putnam at 304-823-3922.

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