Notable Nevadans

June 13, 2016

CONGRATULATING JON YUSPA

CONGRATULATING JON YUSPA

HON. DEAN HELLER

OF NEVADA

IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE

June 13, 2016

Mr. HELLER. Mr. President, today, I wish to congratulate a Nevadan who has gone above and beyond in his endeavors for our veteran community, Jon Yuspa. Jon formed and continues to lead Honor Flight Nevada, a nonprofit organization committed to honoring the brave men and women who so valiantly defended our freedom.

In 2011, Jon formed Honor Flight Nevada to honor Nevada’s World War II veterans and transport them to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices. Since its formation, Honor Flight Nevada has expanded its trips to include Korean and Vietnam veteran visits. Over the past five years, Jon and the Honor Flight Nevada team have raised over $500,000 to transport more than 200 U.S. veterans to Washington, D.C. The trips are completely funded and paid for at no cost to the veterans through private donations to Honor Flight Nevada. From the National World War II Memorial, to the Korean War Veterans Memorial, to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, all the way to Arlington National Cemetery, every veteran has the chance to see the memorials that stand as a testimony to the great sacrifices they have made.

Even more remarkable, Honor Flight Nevada is the only Honor Flight organization to offer trips specifically for Vietnam veterans to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. To witness these veterans honor their lost comrades at their memorials is truly a special experience. During the trip, veterans are showered with gratitude and applause in airports, on bus rides, at hotels, and en route to their memorials, all executed through the coordination and planning from the Honor Flight Nevada team. I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to everyone working on behalf of our veterans with Honor Flight Nevada, including those with Southwest Airlines and the Reno-Tahoe International Airport who have contributed so much to this organization. It is through the hard work and collaboration of this entire team that these trips are possible.

Recently, Jon’s work has been acknowledged with two prestigious awards. In April, Jon received the President’s Award from Southwest Airlines, as well as the 2016 Jefferson Award for Nevada from the Jefferson Awards Foundation. These accolades are a tremendous honor, and without a doubt, Jon’s work warrants this and so much more in recognition. I have personally attended a veterans send-off at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport and have also met our heroes in our nation’s capital as they observed the World War II Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery. I can attest to the positive impact that accompanies their journey. This truly is a life-changing experience for those who deserve only the greatest gratitude for their service.  

I most recently had the opportunity to see Jon’s work first-hand in May at the internment of Bob Wheeler at Arlington National Cemetery. Bob was an important member of the Nevada family and will never be forgotten. Jon’s work in bringing some of the Nevada family to honor Bob’s sacrifice was admirable. No words can adequately thank Jon for all that he has done.   

Jon has truly impacted the lives of heroes across the state of Nevada. Today, I ask my colleagues and all Nevadans to join me in congratulating Jon on his achievements and in recognizing the entire Honor Flight Nevada family for their work. Honor Flight Nevada’s mission is noble, and I thank everyone for their commitment and compassion to Nevada’s veterans. I wish Jon and all of the Honor Flight Nevada team the best of luck in their future endeavors.