Fifty veterans that served in World War II, The Korean War and The Vietnam War are traveling to Washington, D.C. Saturday as part of a joint effort between M&T Bank and the Buffalo Bills to host a special Buffalo/Niagara Honor Flight.
The veterans, who will be escorted by eight volunteers from M&T Bank and Buffalo Bills offensive linemen Ryan Groy and Dion Dawkins, will visit the national memorials built to honor their service and sacrifice.
“Many of our employees are veterans themselves and know firsthand the sacrifices involved in military service,” said Doug Stevens, M&T Bank Senior Vice President and Manager of Credit Risk Oversight, who himself is a veteran, having served in the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant and nuclear-trained officer. “It’s our privilege to help recognize those who have answered the call of duty to help defend our great nation, and we join the Buffalo Bills Foundation in expressing our sincere gratitude and appreciation for Western New York’s veterans.”
The veterans received a special police, fire and Patriot Guard Riders escort to the airport where a 60-piece orchestra playing patriotic anthems was awaiting them.
“Today we have the privilege of honoring a dedicated group of men and women,” said Gretchen Geitter, president of the Buffalo Bills Foundation. “We are extremely grateful for the sacrifice these veterans have made and hope that this small token of our appreciation will create a lasting memory that commemorates the service they have provided to our country.”
Locations throughout Western New York including The Electric Tower, City Hall, Peace Bridge, Niagara Falls, New Era Field and M&T Bank will be lit red, white and blue in honor of their return Saturday evening.