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1910_Hero_Honor FLight

Velocity Volunteers Sponsors WWII Veteran for Honor Flight Southland Program

Velocity Volunteers Sponsors WWII Veteran for Honor Flight Southland Program

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA — In honor of Veterans Day, Velocity Mortgage Capital’s employee-based community outreach group, Velocity Volunteers, recently sponsored local World War II Navy veteran, Joseph “Papa Jay” Lerner, for an Honor Flight trip to Washington, D.C. The 94-year-old Lerner joined nearly 40 other veterans on a special weekend tour of the nation’s capital, where they were honored for their military service.

The Honor Flight program’s mission is to transport veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Founded in 2005, it is dedicated to providing the nation’s veterans with honor and closure. Honor Flight gives top priority to World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill. Since its inception, more than 130 hubs have been created across the country, and more than 222,000 veterans have experienced an Honor Flight.

Through the organization’s southern California hub, Honor Flight Southland, Velocity sponsored a three-day, two-night Honor Flight for Jay Lerner and his daughter, Sandee Greene, in October.

Joseph Lerner, 2019 and 1943
Joseph Lerner, 2019 and 1943

Shortly after their return home, Velocity hosted a reception to pay tribute to Mr. Lerner, during which he graciously shared some of his World War II experiences with the large group gathered in his honor.

Born in New York City, Lerner was 18 years old when he was called for duty in 1943 and assigned to the USS Hendry, an amphibious attack transport ship. While much his time in the Navy was spent in Moloka’i, Hawaii, where he trained Marines who would be landing on shore from a transport ship, Lerner also saw his share of battle time.

Monument to the flag raising at Iwo Jima.
Memorial to Battle of Iwo Jima

Saipan in the Mariana Islands was Lerner’s first experience on a war front. From there, the USS Hendry transported the 24th regiment of 4th Marine Division to Battle of Iwo Jima, which began on February 19, 1945. A witness to the famous flag raising at Iwo Jima, Lerner and fellow crew members unloaded battle equipment and took aboard many of the casualties from one of the deadliest battles fought in World War II.

Many years later, Lerner could still vividly recall the intensity of his experiences aboard the USS Hendry and recounted how he would never forget the feeling of waking up to the sound of a nearby battleship firing its guns over his ship.

To the group of Velocity employees gathered in his honor, Papa Jay’s recollections of the last World War and a bygone era when the majority of the nation’s young men were drafted into military service, were a potent reminder that the freedoms we enjoy were paid for by the sacrifices of others.   

Velocity National Facilities and Purchasing Manager Kristen Santangelo took part in an Honor Flight with her father earlier in the year. She was so moved by the experience that she proposed sponsorship of a local veteran for an Honor Flight to Velocity Volunteers.

“I was so lucky to share an Honor Flight experience with my father, who was a Vietnam Veteran,” said Kristen Santangelo. “It was truly an honor to be in the presence of Mr. Lerner, a WWII Veteran. His stories were incredible. I’m thankful our company could support him and his wonderful daughter with this experience.”

Velocity’s Cindra Rainieri and Kristen Santangelo greet Joseph Lerner.

Near the end of the reception at Velocity, Lerner received a large stack of handwritten cards and letters written by employees expressing their gratitude for his service.

A few days after the reception, Lerner wrote: “Thank you for having me and for listening to me [tell you about my experiences]. I believe I represent a group of people with a very worthy cause and worthy of your wonderful support.

“When you go through life, there are moments you will never forget. Speaking at your office last Friday, and the reception I received, made that afternoon one of those moments for me.”

About the Honor Flight Southland

Honor Flight Southland is a 501(c) (3) non-profit 100% volunteer organization created solely to honor America’s veterans living in Southern California. The organization makes it possible to make a veteran’s dream come true to fly to Washington, D.C. and experience an unforgettable opportunity.

The Honor Flight program gives people the opportunity to express gratitude toward the brave men and women who serve not for self but for the country. Companies and individuals are highly encouraged to participate in such a generous program and help add a special moment to a senior veteran’s life. To learn more, go to www.honorflightsouthland.org.

About Velocity Mortgage Capital

Since 2004, Velocity Mortgage Capital has funded over $3.2 billion in investment and commercial property loans. By focusing more on the property’s value and revenue-generating potential rather than the borrower’s personal income and credit, our asset-based investment property loans enable brokers to meet the unique needs of real estate investors who are tough to qualify, including W-2 employees, self-employed entrepreneurs, and small business owners. Velocity’s financing programs range from temporary, short-term, credit repair and fix-and-flip programs to 30-year, fully amortizing mortgages with flexible terms to meet the diverse needs of real estate investors. Because every borrower, even the extraordinary ones, deserves an opportunity.

Press Contact:
Michael Oddi, Chief Marketing Officer
Velocity Mortgage Capital
818.338.9780