April 24 to 26 – Welcome Home Military Heroes (WHMH) is dedicated to honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans, and our latest effort to bridge the gap between younger and older generations of Veterans is no exception. The Melissa Anderson Fund, created in honor of one of WHMH’s members who passed away, aims to help younger Veterans experience the Honor Flight trip to Washington, D.C. as guardians to older Veterans.

Robert Tolan, Co-Founder of WHMH and Vice Chairman for Honor Flight, went on his first Honor Flight trip in 2017. When he returned, he informed the WHMH board that there was a big disconnect between our older and younger generation of Veterans. This led to the establishment of the Mellissa Anderson Fund, which helps pay for younger Veterans to go on the Honor Flight trip as guardians. Guardians play a significant role on these trips, ensuring that every Veteran has a safe and memorable experience by physically assisting them at the airport, during the flight, at the hotel, and at the memorials.

Due to Honor Flight Central Coast big expansion from 23 to 75 veterans per trip, they faced a shortage of guardians. The WHMH board decided to send five Veterans instead of one and selected Veterans who are already making a big impact in the veteran community on the Central Coast. The trip proved to be life-changing for these Veterans.

“I did not want to go on the trip, but I wanted to help my brother (Robert Tolan) out. I am so glad he asked me to go. I will forever be grateful for this. This trip has changed my life. Thank you, Welcome Home Military Heroes, for this opportunity,” said one of the veterans.

Each veteran on the trip costs $1500, and the program is funded by generous donations from people like you. Without your support, WHMH cannot continue to bridge the gap between younger and older generations of Veterans. The testimonials from the veterans speak to the power of this mission. “I left with a stranger, and three days later I returned home with a lifelong friend,” said another Veteran.

During the trip, the veterans visit all their memorials, including the Vietnam Wall, Korean, WWII, Lincoln, and Iwo Jima, Air Force and Military Women Memorials, and visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, Naval Academy, and Fort McHenry. This experience is invaluable to both the younger and older generations of veterans.

“After experiencing this trip with the Veterans we were able to bring, I realized that the Mellissa Anderson Fund is one of the most important missions we have now. We are not just helping WWII, Korean, and Vietnam veterans on this trip. We are helping our younger generation Veterans who are struggling with PTS(d),” said Robert Tolan.

Please consider visiting the WHMH website and reading the full testimonials from each veteran. Your support is crucial to continue this mission of honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans.

To Donate to the Melissa Anderson Fund: Donate (click “Write a comment and leave a note stating you want your money going to Melissa Anderson Fund”)

Read the testimony’s: Veterans Testimonies – April 2023 Flight