HANNIBAL | The United States Exercise Tiger Foundation, based in Columbia, will officially launch the “Mask A Vet” Campaign on Saturday, September 12, bringing masks to veterans in Hannibal, Palmyra and other parts of the state.
As part of the first Missouri County Mask To Veterans Giveaway, the Fulton- based Kingdom Pilot's Association's All Volunteer Group Pilots will fly two “Tiger Flight” Mask Missions to the Pershing VA Hospital at Poplar Bluff and to the American Legion Posts in Hannibal and Palmyra. They will deliver 10,000 masks to Missouri's bootheel area vets and 2,500 masks to Hannibal area veterans and the American Legion Posts.
These are the first mask missions of this type to be flown in the U.S. American Legion members will meet the plane at the Hannibal Regional Airport at about 11:15 a.m. to accept their mask delivery.
The KPA planes will be loaded at 10 a.m., and will take off on “Pathfinder” mask Missions to Hannibal and Poplar Bluff. The lead pilot for the Poplar Bluff mission will be Ted Forester, a vet and Civil Air Patrol member. Dave Hollabaugh will pilot the Hannibal mask mission.
“We call these two missions 'Pathfinder' missions as they are the first Tiger Flight Mask Missions to ever perform this. We will find out how it went and if it will need modifications for future missions,” said USTF National and State Director Susan Haines.
The “Mask A Vet” campaign is a joint partnership with the USTF and the state of Missouri to make sure veterans get masks. The USTF is the lead NGO to distribute the masks statewide. Teaming up with Fulton's KPA's AVG pilots is both a historic milestone and largest ever humanitarian mission for both non-profits.
Veterans and anyone wishing to help or donate can call the USTF office number to get more information on how to get a free mask at 573-356- 0529, or go online to www.exercisetiger.org.
“We are looking for a county location in Marion to set up drive thru/walk up tables to distribute to veterans from Hannibal, Marion and Ralls counties who are not members of the American Legion or VFW. Anyone who has a grocery store or perhaps a county building parking lot should contact the USTF so that we can get masks to vets,” Haines said. “We will leave no vet behind.”