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Buffalo Niagara Honor Flight sends 53 veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit memorials

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Posted at 2:38 PM, May 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-04 14:38:14-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — 53 local veterans will spend the day in Washington D.C. Saturday thanks to the Buffalo Niagara Honor Flight and charitable contributions from the Buffalo Bills and M&T Bank.

Buffalo Niagara Honor Flight transports veterans from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War to visit the memorials which honor their service and sacrifice with no cost to the veterans.

10 volunteers were on hand to escort them, including Bills defensive backs Levi Wallace and Taron Johnson.

A special sendoff was held for the group before they departed the Buffalo Niagara International Airport early Saturday morning.

“This flight is especially meaningful to our employees, many of whom 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. “Every veteran deserves the opportunity to visit the memorials and experience the impact their sacrifices still have on the lives of all Americans, and we’re glad to join forces with the Buffalo Bills Foundation to help make the Buffalo Niagara Honor Flight possible.”

They will return home late Saturday night, the public is invited to the airport to welcome the veterans back around 11 p.m. Saturday.

“We are extremely proud that M&T Bank has joined with the Buffalo Bills Foundation and a group of our players to honor our Veterans in such a special way,” said Gretchen Geitter, president of the Buffalo Bills Foundation. “Today, a dedicated group of men and women are able experience part of the lasting impact that their service and sacrifice had on our country. They are our heroes and we are proud to help facilitate this experience.”