Murkowski Cuts Through Red Tape, Helps Alaska War Veterans Get to Washington, D.C.

Senator’s Work Gets IRS to Streamline Group’s Non-Profit Eligibility

WASHINGTON, DC – With Senator Lisa Murkowski’s help in cutting through government bureaucracy, the Last Frontier Honor Flight will be able to make its inaugural trip to Washington, D.C. next month with 25 Alaskan veterans of World War II – ranging in age from 87 to 94 years old – who will tour the monuments and memorials honoring their service at no cost to them.  The Internal Revenue Service had originally given the non-profit a timetable extending into next year for reviewing its non-profit status application, leaving many waiting for months when time comes at a premium.

“When the time came for these men to serve our nation in World War II, they didn’t take their orders and wait for over a year; they reported for duty immediately,” said Murkowski.  “They deserve the same speediness and respect when it comes to allowing them to see the memorials that they had a hand in creating, commemorating their blood, sweat and tears.”

(Click to watch informational video, courtesy of Honor Flight Network)

The founder of Last Frontier Honor Flight Ron Travis of Big Lake –  himself a Vietnam Veteran and a former focus of Senator Murkowski’s “Veteran Spotlight” series – was pursuing a 501(c)(3) non-profit designation from the IRS to permit him to legally process donations in a way that would allow him to take veterans to Washington, DC., when the IRS informed him in July that it could be another year before it fully vetted his request. He then reached out to Senator Murkowski who followed up to press the effort on behalf of the group.  Within a month, the non-profit received its 501(c) (3) status and cleared the path for Alaska’s first Honor Flight to take off.

"It is incredibly important that we honor our WWII, Alaska Territorial Guard and Korean War veterans,” said Ron Travis.  “The generosity that we have experienced from Alaskans has been absolutely humbling; without their support the first ever Alaskan Honor Flight would never be happening.  This trip, of course, is just the beginning and we will continue to raise money to fund our future flights.  We appreciate Senator Murkowski and her staff for their help and support in making this a reality.”

The Last Frontier Honor Flight is the Alaska hub of the Honor Flight Network.  The organization hopes to honor WWII veterans and members of the Alaska Territorial Guard - by bringing them to Washington DC, for a day of honor, at no cost to them.  Top priority is given to WWII and terminally ill veterans from all wars.