EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. - (June 30, 2010) - Just a few weeks after America celebrates its independence, EAA and hundreds of thousands will honor those who defended its freedom. Those events will be held throughout EAA AirVenture 2010, "The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration," on July 26-August 1 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.
AirVenture's "Salute to Veterans" - a national partnership led by EAA, the Warbirds of America, and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) - is a week-long commemoration filled with an extensive list of special programs and events honoring America's veterans.
Among the highlights is the "Parade of Veterans" at 2 p.m. on Friday, July 30, where all veterans in attendance can participate in the procession which begins at Scotts Warbird Alley. Award-winning actor and veterans advocate Gary Sinise, best known for his role as Vietnam veteran Lt. Dan Taylor in the classic film "Forrest Gump" and as star of the hit TV series "CSI: New York," will greet veterans upon their arrival at AeroShell Square, followed by a photo opportunity of the mass gathering.
All veterans and active military personnel who are not EAA members are eligible for a special daily AirVenture admission rate of $30 (nearly 25 percent off the regular daily price). This special discount is only available for tickets purchased in advance through www.airventure.org. EAA-member military personnel will continue to receive the EAA-member rate, the lowest adult admission rate available to the event.
"As we celebrate America's independence this weekend, it is important to reflect on those who put their lives on the line for all of us," said Tom Poberezny, EAA chairman/president and AirVenture chairman. "Attendees at AirVenture can see more than 400 of these amazing warbirds up close and in action, giving you a glimpse into what these heroes went through while serving our country."
"Salute to Veterans" also coincides with the 75th anniversary celebrations of two significant U.S. military aircraft: The Boeing B-17 bomber and the Douglas DC-3, which carried the C-47 (Army) and R-4D (Navy) designations during its active military service. Other featured events and highlights during AirVenture's "Salute to Veterans" include:
*An Old Glory Honor Flight departing AirVenture at 8 a.m. and returning at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 29, carrying approximately 80 World War II veterans on American Airlines' "Flagship Liberty" 737 for a day-long tour of the memorials in Washington, D.C., that honor their service and sacrifices
*Expanded, themed afternoon air shows throughout the week, highlighted by the large "Warbirds Spectacular" shows on Friday, July 30 and Saturday, July 31, the "Max Effort" air show on Tuesday, July 27 that honors the 75th anniversary of the DC-3/C-47 through formation flights and aerial displays, and a B-17 "Missing Man" formation later in the week
*Gary Sinise and The Lt. Dan Band performing in concert, presented by EAA, the Wabirds of America and Disabled American Veterans, at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 30 at Theater in the Woods
*Hundreds of historic and current military aircraft and personalities on AeroShell Square and the upgraded Scotts Warbird Alley, which hosts the popular twice-daily "Warbirds in Review" program
*More than 100 specially designated forums and speakers throughout the week, including first-person accounts of wartime life
*Evening forums and movies chronicling veterans' experiences at Theater in the Woods and Ford Fly-In Theater
EAA AIRVENTURE OSHKOSH is The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration and EAA's yearly membership convention. Additional EAA AirVenture information, including advance ticket and camping purchase, is available online at WWW.airventure.org