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St. David’s HealthCare recently announced a $40,000 donation to Honor Flight Austin so that 60 Austin-area World War II veterans can visit the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., April 11-12, 2014.

“At St. David’s, we look for opportunities not to sponsor organizations, but to partner with important organizations in our community, and we are pleased that Honor Flight has afforded us this opportunity,” Denise Bradley, director of corporate communications and public affairs at St. David’s HealthCare, said. “It is a privilege for St. David’s HealthCare to show its gratitude to our World War II veterans who continue to show us why they are, indeed, the Greatest Generation.”

Honor Flight Austin was established in 2012 to support a 14-county region, including Bastrop, Bell, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Gillespie, Gonzales, Hays, Lee, Llano, Milam, Travis and Williamson counties. Since its inception, Honor Flight Austin has supported 12 missions and has transported 366 World War II veterans to Washington, D.C. An estimated 1,000 World War II veterans live in the Central Texas region.

“I had the opportunity to go on one of the first Honor Flight trips last year, and the emotion and gratitude of our veteran heroes were priceless,” Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell, honorary board member of Honor Flight Austin, said. “As a Vietnam veteran, I understand the importance of Honor Flight’s mission, and I am thankful for organizations such as St. David’s HealthCare for making these trips possible.”

Mayor Leffingwell, who served as an officer and a pilot in the United States Navy and served in the Vietnam War, was instrumental in the creation of Honor Flight Austin. After leaving active duty, Mayor Leffingwell served in the Navy Reserves and retired at the rank of commander. He attended Honor Flight Austin’s second journey in October 2012.

Click here to watch St. David’s HealthCare’s donation presentation to local veterans with Austin Mayor Leffingwell.

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