In Memory – Bartley F. TUTHILL


It is with a sad heart we share the news of Bartley F. Tuthill, WWII Veteran and HFA Alumni. 

His family shared their appreciation, “Bart was a father, son, brother, grandfather, WWII Vet, Mason, volunteer, sportsman and successful businessman. He lived all of these roles with distinction, love, honesty and above all, a humor that drew others to his positivity. He never met a stranger; this coupled with his love of travel allowed him to spread his joy of life throughout our great country and through the world.”

We ask you continue to honor the service and sacrifice of our WWII Veterans by sharing their stories.

Marking the Army’s 239th Birthday

Honor Flight Austin Army 239 Birthday Today we celebrate the Army’s 239th Birthday! We are marking the day by thanking all those who choose to honor the service and sacrifice of those who served in the United States Army, and encourage you to continue to do so.

We have had the privilege of honoring the service and sacrifice of many of our most senior Army Veterans who served during WWII, with your help.

 Without your support, this trip of a lifetime would not happen. You play a major part in honoring our Veterans.

We’d like to introduce you to one of our WWII Veterans and HFA Alumni, Peggy Van Noy. Peggy served as a Nurse during WWII in the United States Army, caring for “America’s Sons and Daughters”. Peggy expressed her appreciation not only to those who assisted her during the flight but to those who made the trip possible.


Pictured is Peggy Van Noy, who served in the United States Army as a Nurse, during WWII and her grandson.


We also ask that you take moment to visit our In Memory Page and spend time honoring our WWII Veterans who served in the United States Army who are no longer with us. You made a difference in their lives. Without your commitment to honor them, they would not have experienced this Trip of A Lifetime. If you would like to thank a specific Army Veteran, post a photo and your words of appreciation on the Honor Flight Austin Facebook page and give us the opportunity to honor your Veteran as well.


Mr. Louis Joesph “Paw Paw” Gremillion, Honor Flight Austin Alumni, served in the United States Army during WWII and knew his local community chose to honor , “The Greatest Generation”.

In Memory – Pete Snelson

Dad as Grand MarshalFormer State Senator W. E. “Pete” Snelson passed away peacefully at his home in Georgetown, Texas on the afternoon of Saturday April 26, 2014 surrounded by his family.

Pete was born the sixth of seven children on March 28, 1923 in Grandfalls, Texas. He was salutatorian of his graduating class from Grandfalls-Royalty High. After graduation, Pete worked as news editor and advertising manager for the Grandfall’s Gazette. In 1940, he began studying journalism at Texas College of Mines in El Paso. He combined his college studies with a full time job as sports editor for the El Paso Times.

In 1943, Pete was called to active duty by the US Army during WWII. After basic training, Pete was sent by the Army Specialized Training Program to the University of Nebraska to study German language, history, and culture.  Pete joined the 44th Infantry Division, Company B of the 324th Infantry Regiment which was deployed to Cherbourg, France. On November 13, 1944, Pete’s Company attacked the German line in the Vosges Mountains where he was wounded.  After three months of recuperation, he was interviewed and selected for service as a Special Agent in the 307th Counter Intelligence Corp detachment at 7th Army Headquarters. Prior to Pete’s discharge from the US Army as a Technical Sargent, he received a Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and Combat Infantryman’s Badge.  He remained in the US Army Reserve and was commissioned as a Lieutenant and served as a commander of the Counter Intelligence Corps unit at Fort Bliss, Texas.

After the War, Pete returned to El Paso where he graduated from Texas College of Mines and accepted a faculty position. In 1948, Pete began his Masters of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. After his graduation in 1950, Pete moved to Midland where he was named a vice-president of Odessa College. During the 1950s, Pete was elected President of the Texas Jaycees and was named outstanding State president by the US Jaycees.  He left higher education in 1955 to found an advertising agency which he operated for thirty-five years. On May 31, 1959, Pete married Susan Sutton of Denver, Colorado.

In 1960, Pete defeated a three time incumbent and was elected as a State Representative. In 1964, Pete was elected to the Texas Senate. He served the 25th District until his retirement in 1983. During his long tenure as an elected official, he served as chairman of the Senate Education, Oil & Gas and Intergovernmental Relations committees.  He also served on the Legislative Budget Board and Finance Committee as well as the Sunset Commission and the Legislative Council. In 1971, he was elected as President Pro-Tempore of the Texas Senate and served as Governor for a day on December 4, 1971. In reflecting back upon his long and illustrious career, the legislation that stood out for him most was his sponsorship of the Early Childhood Intervention Program that became the model nationally for early intervention for developmentally delayed children ages 0-3.

In 1983, Pete left the Senate and devoted himself to his oil company Six-S Properties and Snelson Advertising agency. In 1989, he began a new career as a legislative consultant for education until his retirement in 2008. Pete’s example of humility, honesty, and leadership will be treasured by his family and friends.

Pete is survived by the love of his life Susan Snelson and their four children and ten grandchildren: Gene Snelson and Kara Salmonson and their sons Dylan and Lance; Sandy and Lynn Yaklin and their children Marshall, Shepherd, and Hanna; Steven and Teresa Guerra Snelson and their children Casey and Skylar; and Shane and Antonieta Snelson and their children Ana, Luke, and Eva as well as his brother Bill Snelson and niece Maggie Meline.30

We ask that you continue to honor Mr. Schleder’s legacy as one of from the Greatest Generation, share his story!


In Memory – Ben Schleder

deee6340f367b7f8f9aa91c62e114547Ben Schleder, who was trained as a doctor in the Navy during World War II flew on Honor Flight Austin’s Inaugural flight.

It is with a heavy heart that we share of Mr. Schelder’s passing.

Continue to honor Mr. Schleder’s legacy as one of from the Greatest Generation, share his story!

St. David’s Healthcare honors our WWII Veterans

Honor Flight Austin will start its third year of flying by sending 120 World War II Veterans on their 2014 spring flights, their largest flights to date. The WWII Veterans will fly, free of charge, due to the generous support from the Austin community and a $40,000 donation from St. David’s HealthCare.

“When we heard about Honor Flight’s efforts—making it possible for World War II veterans to visit the memorial—we wanted to get involved,” Denise Bradley, director of corporate communication and public affairs for St. David’s HealthCare, said. “It is our hope that this gift will inspire others to support local veterans for their tremendous service and sacrifices.”

St. David’s HealthCare is also donating 30 wheelchairs to Honor Flight, and a number of staff members will be assisting as guardians on the flight for veterans who suffer from critical health issues.

We want to thank all who have contributed to honor the service and sacrifices of our WWII Veterans as we continue to make these historic flights with our local WWII Veterans to Washington D.C. before it’s too late.

I live here I give here Update

flight 11As you know,  this was the first year Honor Flight participated in the a city-wide day of giving through Amplify Austin and we want to say THANK YOU to all who gave.

Without supporters like you, continuing these historic flights to Washington, D.C. would be impossible for our most deserving Veterans. Your donation has helped us continue our mission to send more WWII Veterans from the Austin area to see their memorial in our Nation’s capital before it is too late.

Since our inception in 2011, we raised enough funds to fly 370 WWII veterans to see the memorial that was built in their honor and you personally assisted us in making their trip possible. The Veterans who participate in one of our flights continue to talk about their experience as a memory they will never forget.

Many stay invested in Honor Flight Austin by helping us recruit more veterans and even help with fundraising. Our goal is to fly all willing and able World War II Veterans living in and around Austin, Texas.

Your donation has helped fund our Veteran’s hotel accommodations, food, airfare, and ground transportation for the two days in Washington, D.C.

On behalf of Honor Flight Austin and the WWII Veterans we serve, we thank you for your donation and for showing our WWII Veterans how much their service and sacrifice is valued by the citizens of a grateful nation.

Honor Flight and Amplify Austin starts March 20!

Amplify Austin is Just One Week Away!

   Last year, nonprofits across Austin came together for a city-wide day of giving. The goal was to raise $1 million for nonprofits across our community in 24 hours. In that short time, we surpassed that goal and raised over $2,780,000.

Amplify Austin returns one week from today, starting at 6P on March 20 and ending at 6P on March 21. The goal for 2014 is $4 million in 24 hours.
You can show your support for our WWII Veterans by visiting our Amplify Austin donation page to schedule your gift in advance!
Giving a gift of $25 (or more!) and sharing your experience will help us reach our goal of flying every able bodied WWII Veteran to Washington D.C. to see their memorials, FOR FREE!

Honor Flight Austin Brings D.C. to WWII Veteran

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Honor Flight Austin Brings D.C. to WWII Veteran - We were proud to honor Mr. Gillson after hearing he would not be able to fly with us to Washington D.C. to visit his memorial. Honor Flight decided to bring D.C. to him. From the National Anthem, sung by an Air Force Veteran, to the many well wishes of honor from those in attendance, Mr. Gillson shared his gratitude. There was not a dry eye in that room.

Mr. Gillson served our country during WWII and almost lost his life. “I wish we could take him…” Allen Bergeron of Honor Flight said. “We’re gonna have him in our thoughts and prayers and hopefully he pulls through and we’ll get him to see his memorial that he’s waited 65 years to see.”  To read more, visit My Fox Austin.

Mr. Overton, the oldest living WWII Veteran meets with President Obama.

2013051595080921Nick Swartsell shared the news via the Dallas News. We were honored to accompany Mr. Overton on this trip and to continue to honor him  back home in Austin. Thank you to all who made this moment possible!

“In his speech, Obama noted that Overton visited the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in May. Honor Flight Austin, which brings Texas veterans to the capital, arranged both trips.”

“As Richard sat in a wheelchair beneath that great marble statue, he wept,’’ the president said. “And the crowd that gathered around him wept, too, to see one of the oldest living veterans of World War II bear witness to a day – to the progress of a nation – he thought might never come.’’