Collier County charity featured on popular TV show

NAPLES, Fla. A Collier County charity will get national exposure Tuesday night.

The CBS show “NCIS” will run an episode that salutes the Collier County Honor Flight organization, which flies local veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit memorials dedicated to their service and sacrifice.

Tonight’s episode will feature a guest star who will act as a decorated Vietnam War veteran visiting the memorials, according to Collier County Honor Flight’s Facebook page. The episode, titled “The Wall,” airs at 8 p.m. on WINK-TV.

The granddaughter of a veteran who was on a real-life honor flight Gina Lucita Monreal is a writer for the show, Collier County Honor Flight Co-Founder Sean Lux said. She found the organization’s mission so moving that she felt compelled to bring it to the screen.

“These men and women allowed us to be free and they didn’t get the thank you for your
service like now,” Dr. Debi Lux said.

Korean War veteran Bill Hauck has been on seven honor flights as a guardian and is currently waiting to go on a trip that honors his own service. Hauck said the experience is emotional.

“They just cry all the time because they go back to their memories of a buddy that they had for a year or two and he got killed,” Hauck said. “You’ll never forget it, never.”

The nonprofit organization has flown 770 Southwest Florida veterans since it was established Sept. 25, 2013.

Each honor flight transports 70 veterans and costs $80,000.

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