Category Archives: veterans travel

Cunard Partners with The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation to Honor WW II Vets on July 20 Transatlantic Crossing

Cunard Partners with The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation to Commemorate Service of World War II Veterans on July 20 Transatlantic Crossing (PRNewsfoto/Cunard Line)

VALENCIA, Calif. — In partnership with The Greatest GENERATIONS FoundationCunard will again pay tribute to the World War II heroes, honoring our nation’s veterans with a unique enrichment program on board a Queen Mary 2 Transatlantic Crossing that will travel from New York to London on July 20-27, 2018.

On this 7-night voyage, cruisers will have the opportunity to attend lectures and interact with several WWII veterans, hearing first-hand about their experiences during America’s involvement in the war. From the “Battle of the Atlantic,” to the conflicts in Normandy and Pearl Harbor, these distinguished war heroes will engage in discussions and Q&A’s, giving guests a very personal glimpse into the human elements of wartime service.

“Last year our guests were spellbound by the veterans’ moving personal accounts of their wartime service, resulting in standing ovations every day,” said Josh Leibowitz, senior vice president, Cunard North America. “Cunard prides itself on offering one-of-a-kind, world class entertainment and enrichment programs, and we are honored to welcome back The Greatest Generations Foundation on the July 20th Transatlantic Crossing.”

World War II veterans scheduled to be on board will include:

  • Steve Melnikoff, who experienced the full horrors of Normandy when he served in 1stBattalion, 175th Regiment of the 29th Infantry Division and who earned three Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts for his service.
  • Stuart Hedley, who served in the United States Navy and recalls leaping from his ship and into the water during Pearl Harbor and coming up amid debris and burning oil and swimming for his life towards the shoreline.
  • Harold Angle, who served as First Sergeant E-5 in the 112th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division, and who marched down the Champs-Elysées on August 29, 1944 in the Liberation of Paris.
  • Michael Ganitch, who served as a Senior Chief Quartermaster in the United States Navy and witnessed Pearl Harbor.
  • James Blane, Corporal of the 4thMarine Division of the United States Marine Corps and served in the battles of Kwajalein (Roi-Namur), Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima.
  • Peter DuPre, who served as a medic in the 114th General Hospital Unit in Kidderminster, England during WWII, where he treated wounded servicemen from all areas of Europe, including those who had been wounded during the Battle of the Bulge.
  • John Foy, who served in the 87th Infantry Division joining General George Patton’s Third Army in liberating Europe. John served as a front-line machine gunner in the Battle of Northern France and later the Battle of the Bulge
  • Kenneth Barclay, who served as Lieutenant Colonel O-5 in the “Fighting 69th” Regiment, where he served in Hawaii, Saipan and Okinawa during the war.

Q&A’s and other discussions with the World War II veterans will cover topics including:

  • D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy, 1944
  • The Longest Winter: The Battle of the Bulge, 1944
  • I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941
  • Miracle at Midway, 1942
  • Blood Sand: The Battle for Iwo Jima, 1945
  • Okinawa 1945: The Last Epic Struggle of World War II

Jeremy Hubbard, current co-anchor of FOX31 Denver News will join the voyage and act as a moderator of the panels and lectures. Prior to joining the FOX31 Denver News team, Hubbard, a native of western Colorado, worked as a New York-based correspondent for ABC News where he contributed and reported for all ABC News broadcasts including: Good Morning America, World News with Dianne Sawyer and Nightline.

For more information about Cunard, or to book a voyage, contact your Travel Consultant, call Cunard Line at 1-800-728-6273 or visit 

Cunard is the operator of luxury cruise ships Queen Mary 2®, Queen Victoria® and Queen Elizabeth®. Renowned for impeccable White Star Service, gourmet dining and world-class entertainment, all three Queens offer luxury accommodations in Britannia, Britannia Club, Princess Grill Suite and Queens Grill Suite staterooms. Cunard is the only line to offer regularly scheduled Transatlantic service between New York and London, and it continues to celebrate the freedom of travel on exciting World Voyage and Grand Voyage itineraries that visit Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Asia and Australia.

Awarded ‘#1 Mega-Ship Ocean Cruise Line’ by Travel + Leisure’s 2017 and 2016 World’s Best Awards and ‘Best World Cruise Itineraries’ and ‘Best Trans-Atlantic Itineraries’ by Porthole Cruise Magazine’s 2016 Readers Choice Awards, Cunard is a member of World’s Leading Cruise Lines, a part of Carnival Corporation, the largest cruise vacation company in the world. Together Cunard, Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, P&O Cruises (Australia) and P&O Cruises (UK) operate 102 ships visiting over 700 ports around the world and totaling 226,000 lower berths.

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Xanterra, Austin Adventures Join on Photo-Sharing Contest, Travel Discounts to Benefit Veterans

Xanterra Parks & Resorts and Austin Adventures are teaming up on travel promotions to honor America’s veterans and active military members by way of a photo-sharing contest in which the public is invited to enter the #FreeBecause from Nov. 1-12 as well as discounts on 2016 Austin Adventures tours booked between Nov. 9-13.
Xanterra Parks & Resorts and Austin Adventures are teaming up on travel promotions to honor America’s veterans and active military members by way of a photo-sharing contest as well as discounts on 2016 Austin Adventures tours.

DENVER, CO – Xanterra Parks & Resorts and Austin Adventures are teaming up on travel promotions to honor America’s veterans and active military members by way of a photo-sharing contest in which the public is invited to enter the #FreeBecause from Nov. 1-12 as well as discounts on 2016 Austin Adventures tours booked between Nov. 9-13.

The #FreeBeacause photo-sharing contest grand prize is a trip to the Grand Canyon that will be awarded to a veteran or active military member and his/her family. There are also daily giveaways.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts and its affiliated properties, The Broadmoor and The Inn at Sea Island, are sponsoring the contest and offering exclusive vacation deals in honor of Veterans Day. The prize includes two nights at The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, one night at the Maswik Lodge in Grand Canyon National Park, round-trip airfare up to $1,500, up to four first-class tickets on the Grand Canyon Railway and two meals per day for up to four people.

To enter the #FreeBecause photo-sharing contest, participants should Instagram or Tweet a photo of their military hero between Nov. 1 and 11 and tag it with #FreeBecause. Their military friend or family member will automatically be entered into the contest. Winners will be selected to receive the grand prize as well as daily prizes of gifts from the National Parks and Xanterra’s resorts, tour brands and affiliated properties. (For more information and to see a special album of the photo entries, visit

In addition, the collection of Xanterra resorts and tour companies, as well as The Broadmoor and The Inn at Sea Island, are offering active military members and their families – and in some cases, the general public – exclusive vacation deals in honor of Veterans Day. The National Parks are also offering a fee-free entry for the general public on Veterans Day. (For more information on these offers, visit

As part of this commemorative program, Austin Adventures, a member of the Xanterra Parks & Resorts® portfolio of experiential leisure offerings, will offer 25 percent off a 2016 Austin Adventures tour for the veteran/active military and their spouse and 10 percent off for their traveling companion(s) on any Austin Adventures trip to be enjoyed by Dec. 31, 2016, that is booked between Nov. 9 and 13, 2015. (See:

Based in Billings, MT, Austin Adventures (formerly Austin-Lehman Adventures) has spent more than 40 years building an international reputation as a provider of scheduled small group tours and customized trips to all seven continents. In 2013, Austin Adventures joined the Xanterra Parks & Resorts® portfolio of experiential leisure offerings that includes operations in Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Zion, Crater Lake, Glacier, Rocky Mountain and Petrified Forest National Parks; Mount Rushmore National Memorial; Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley National Park; and five Ohio State Park Lodges as well as the Geneva Marina at Ohio’s Geneva State Park. Xanterra Parks & Resorts also owns and operates Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va., the Grand Canyon Railway and Hotel in Williams, Ariz., the Grand Hotel in Tusayan, Ariz., Windstar Cruises, VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, Country Walkers and Austin Adventures.

For more information on all of the destinations, trips and itineraries offered by Austin Adventures visit, call (800) 575-1540 or email
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Rivers of Recovery Helps Combat Veterans Overcome Scars of War With Fly-Fishing

Vietnam veteran Leon hooks into a big one on one of Rivers of Recovery's fly-fishing programs.
Vietnam veteran Leon hooks into a big one on one of Rivers of Recovery’s fly-fishing programs.

Fly-fishing can be medicinal. It is one of the outdoor recreational therapy strategies that Rivers of Recovery (, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, uses to help combat veterans who have been physically affected, or are suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) or post traumatic shock disorder (PTSD). The organization’s program fosters confidence-building through outdoor activities and talk therapy in a relaxed, supportive environment.

In July, MPulse Maintenance Software (, a division of SpecTech, Inc., helped sponsor two fly-fishing trips for combat-wounded veterans on Oregon’s majestic McKenzie River.

The company donated 5% of its May 2013 sales revenues to help sponsor two, two-day trips of six veterans each, and the overall operations of Rivers of Recovery. While it started out as a simple fundraising effort for a good cause, MPulse employees soon became invested in the Rivers of Recovery mission. Jason Johnson, MPulse’s vice president of sales and marketing, began advocating for a fly fishing trip on Oregon’s scenic McKenzie River near the MPulse headquarters — the first time the Rivers of Recovery organization has held trips there.

Johnson reached out to Chris Daughters — owner of Caddis Fly (, a Eugene, Ore., fly fishing shop — to organize the trips. Johnson and Daughters worked closely with Amy Simon, executive director of Rivers of Recovery, to ensure the trips followed the therapeutic guidelines set forth by Rivers of Recovery. Each group of six veterans received two back-to-back days of guided fly fishing, which took place July 21-22 and July 24-25, 2014. The river guides were provided by Daughters, who also arranged lodging for the group in his cabin at Loloma Lodge in Blue River, Ore.

The experience was extremely powerful for both the organizers and the participants. “Fly fishing is more than a hobby. It’s Zen meditation — the flowing water, fresh air, sunshine. It’s therapy,” explains Johnson, who is a U.S. Army veteran and fly fisherman himself. “It was truly humbling to join this group of selfless men and women for two beautiful days on the river, and to see the impact the experience had on each of them. The change that happens over two days is miraculous.”

Eugene area veterans Troy Givens, Michael Oreskovic, and Jacob Courtright volunteered as camp hosts for the trips, organizing the food, social activities, and transportation. All three are former participants in Rivers of Recovery trips, and they were well versed in the process and the therapeutic benefits of the program.

“Soldiers come back with scars that aren’t always visible,” said Oreskovic, a U.S. Army veteran. “Rivers of Recovery gives vets a chance to work through difficult experiences and find their sense of purpose and self-confidence again. It made a difference in my recovery, and I wanted to pay it forward with other veterans.”

The veterans weren’t the only ones who came back from the river with a different perspective. Coordinating and participating in the Rivers of Recovery trips also left the organizers galvanized by the experience. “We were inspired by the changes these trips made in the lives of these deserving vets,” Johnson said. “It was great to see firsthand what giving back means. At MPulse we believe in actively supporting the communities where we do business and helping those in need. Our senior leaders are active in Rotary International and our employees receive paid time off for community service, which they use to support numerous worthy organizations. It’s part of who we are.”

Rivers of Recovery was founded in 2008 by Dan T. Cook as a means to help combat veterans overcome the invisible scars of war. In six years, Rivers of Recovery has hosted hundreds of veterans through our unique rehabilitation program. As an industry leader in veterans rehabilitation, Rivers of Recovery utilizes a medically designed curriculum coupled with outdoor recreational activities to treat combat veterans suffering with Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), minor Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI), stress, anxiety, and depression.

Each Rivers of Recovery trip hosts six to ten combat veterans on a science-based, experiential rehabilitation program that focuses on confidence-building, outdoor activities, talk therapy in a relaxed, positive environment and proven techniques on the self-management of symptoms, stressors and responses. Through fly fishing, instruction increases self-confidence, skill-improvement builds empowerment, and achievement facilitates enthusiasm and resiliency.

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