Episode 62: Featuring Honor Flight and Second Chance Fields

Holly Shaffner & Julie Brightwell - Honor Flight San Diego

Julie Brightwell, Chairman of Honor Flight San Diego, and Holly Shaffner, Director of Honor Flight sat down with Rise Up Radio Hosts, Jared Kelley and James Carmody to talk about Honor Flight San Diego, their upcoming events and the need for more funding to make their next flight. Honor Flight escorts veterans to Washington D.C. to visit their war memorials. The trips are provided at no cost to the veterans as a way to honor and say thank you for their service and sacrifices to the country. Top priority for their trips are currently given for the most senior veterans, World War II survivors and to veterans who are terminally ill. Honor Flight covers costs for the flights, hotels, meals and transportation and costs about $2200 per veteran. Each honor flight costs around $250,000 and all funding is donated by foundations, individuals, businesses, corporations and associations. Brightwell got involved with Honor Flights when her father, a WWII veteran, took an Honor Flight in 2007, and she accompanied him on the trip. Shaffner decided to get involved after attending one of the Homecomings from an Honor Flight. “It’s definitely an honor to serve these ww2 veterans, I truly believe that we should be giving back to those who came before us.” She said. Currently there are 100 veterans who are signed up to make the next flight, but they are in need of more money to make the trips happen. Brightwell and Shaffner share details of the upcoming Legends and Legacies Fundraiser to be held Sunday, April 9th.

Josh Pratchard - Second Chance Fields

Josh Pratchard, founder of Second Chance Fields joined Rise Up Radio Hosts, James Carmody and Jared Kelley to unpack how Second Chance Fields was born and the important work they do for San Diego schools. Pratchard, a former Marine, had a brief stint in Minor League Baseball until he suffered an injury. When he moved back to the San Diego area he decided he wanted to do something to give back to the community. He decided to become and serve as a high school pitching coach in the SDUSD. While serving as a coach, he tells Kelley and Carmody it was then he noticed just how unsafe and what bad condition many of the baseball fields were in. Students were getting injured, some seriously, because of the unsafe and often times outdated fields. Pratchard explains how he started going to local construction companies and getting them to donate their time and materials to fix and in some cases, rebuild the fields. His non-profit Second Chance Fields was born. Pratchard said providing safe playing fields isn’t the only mission of SCF. He tells Carmody and Kelley it isn’t merely about sports but also helping student athletes to maintain and in many cases improve their GPA at the same time. He unpacks the three main programs of Second Chance: Back In The Game, Education for Athletes and Field of Dreams.


Take Action

1. Honor Flight San Diego has been devoted to Veterans and escorting them to Washington DC to visit and reflect at the Memorials dedicated to their service and sacrifice. Visit their Website at Honor Flight San Diego to learn how you can keep making this possible.

2. Visit Second Chance Fields to learn more about their different programs, project or how you can donate and make a difference in the life of an athlete.