Smithfield Foods Sponsors Veteran Honor Flight to Nation’s Capital

Company contributes $125,000 to fly 83 veterans to visit Washington, D.C. memorials this September
Jul 11, 2019 4:15 PM ET

SIOUX FALLS, S.D., July 11, 2019 /3BL Media/ — The Smithfield Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Smithfield Foods Inc., announced today a $125,000 donation to the Midwest Honor Flight organization to sponsor 83 World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans for an all-expenses-paid flight to visit the nation’s capital. The sponsored flight in September will allow veterans and guardians to fly to Washington, D.C. to visit memorials dedicated to honoring their service and sacrifice.

“We are thrilled to have Smithfield Foods sponsor a flight in-full for our veterans who are so deserving of this once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Aaron Van Beek, Volunteer President and Director of Midwest Honor Flight. “This is a way to show our appreciation and say thank you to those who served, and we are grateful to Smithfield for showing their support and gratitude for military veterans in such a generous way.”

Smithfield’s donation will sponsor the fifth-ever flight for the Midwest Honor Flight organization, named “Smithfield Foods Mission 5: 24 SEP 2019,” for veterans located throughout northwest Iowa, South Dakota, and southwest Minnesota. Veterans on the flight will together experience the power and solidary of the Arlington National Cemetery, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the National World War II Memorial.   

Smithfield announced the $125,000 donation to charter the honor flight during a press conference at Veterans Memorial Park in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Vietnam Air Force Veteran Bill Kortemeyer was a featured speaker, sharing his firsthand experience as a Midwest Honor Flight recipient in 2018. Beginning this month in July, Smithfield-sponsored honor flight recipients will be notified to prepare for the tour to Washington, D.C. 

“Part of Smithfield’s social purpose is to honor those who have dedicated themselves in service to our country,” said Mark Wiggs, plant manager at Smithfield Foods’ Sioux Falls facility. “We strive to make sure military members and their families are supported, and we’re proud to partner with the Midwest Honor Flight organization to give our veterans this once-in-a-lifetime experience they have undoubtedly earned.”

The Midwest Honor Flight is part of the Honor Flight Network, a non-profit organization created to transport America’s Veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit those memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices.  

“I will never forget my Honor Flight experience,” said Kortemeyer, a Vietnam War veteran. “It was an emotional reunion with my fellow servicemen; one which I am forever grateful to have had.”

For more information about Smithfield’s commitment to veterans, please visit

About Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Nathan’s Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, Farmer John®, Kretschmar®, John Morrell®, Cook’s®, Gwaltney®, Carando®, Margherita®, Curly’s®, Healthy Ones®, Morliny®, Krakus®, and Berlinki®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.  

About Midwest Honor Flight

The Midwest Honor Flight is a non-profit organization created to honor America’s Veterans for their sacrifices. The organization offers paid transport and tours to Washington D.C. to visit the memorials dedicated to honor the service and sacrifices of visiting veterans and those who have perished. The Midwest Honor Flight organization’s service area includes veterans throughout Northwest Iowa, South Dakota, and Southwest Minnesota.