Joint Mission – Helping Homeless Veterans Regain Their Dignity

Scrappy wearing his original uniform when he flew F-105s.
FAGEN Restorations

Scrappy wearing his original uniform when he flew F-105s.
Scrappy wearing his original uniform when he flew F-105s.

While we at WarbirdsNews have a strong focus on preserving and promoting the history of military aviation, we are equally involved with the human stories behind the history. Keeping that in mind, we also try very hard to promote good causes to help our veterans. Military service always demands sacrifice from our men and women in uniform, sometimes far more than the average person could endure, and definitely something most of us could never fully understand unless we ourselves had walked a similar path. All too frequently though, the deprivation and stress of extended and frequent tours of duty in conflict zones can leave long term scars on the human soul that are difficult to identify on the surface, making a normal life in the civilian world so much harder to achieve upon their return. As a result, many veterans… far too many… end up in difficult circumstances once they leave the military. According to recent data, the rate of chronic homelessness amongst male veterans, for example, is twice that of non-veterans in the USA. And this is a situation that none of us should accept. For that reason, we have decided to promote Joint Mission, an organization trying to remedy this awful situation. Founded by Elena Johnson and her husband, the legendary fighter pilot Howard “Scrappy” Johnson who flew and fought in WWII, Korea and Viet Nam, the aim of their noble efforts is as follows…


Our mission is to provide helping hands to the men and women who have served our country and find themselves homeless. We will help by offering material support in a dignified manner to those in need. We will raise funds through a variety of ways to support our efforts by engaging those in our community who appreciate, respect, and admire the necessity and the service of those who served in the United States Armed Forces. We will provide our services through the contribution of time, talent, expertise, and resources from our supporters in the communities we serve.

Joint Mission has gathered together a network of professional interior designers as well as many area fine furniture consignment stores. Our Designers will be happy to consult with you to enhance your home or business at a very attractive hourly rate which will be donated to Joint Mission’s efforts. Our network of furniture consignment stores will be offering special sections of furniture or marking specified pieces for sale, with a portion of the proceeds donated to Joint Mission. These stores will also be making furniture items available to our selected veterans.

Joint Mission is also accepting tax deductible donations to support our mission. These funds will be used to purchase furniture items for selected veterans that we are not able to provide from our available stock, and to underwrite the efforts of the Joint Mission staff.

If you are an interior designer or own a furniture consignment store and wish to join in our Joint Mission Network, please drop us an email at If you would like information about volunteering and being part of the effort to supply formerly homeless veterans with basic furniture essentials, please drop a note to Elena.

Colonel Scrappy Johnson and wife Elena at recent fundraiser in West Palm Beach
Colonel Scrappy Johnson and wife Elena at recent fundraiser in West Palm Beach

Elena Johnson

Elena was a soldier’s daughter born in Italy and became a teenage war bride to an American Army Sargent Major serving there. Her late husband had fought in Normandy and four of their five children served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Elena is an acclaimed interior designer and a driven entrepreneur. Her passion for helping veterans because of her lifelong ties to the military and her admiration for those who have served becomes obvious to anyone who has the distinct pleasure of meeting this amazing woman. The Johnson’s sold their beloved True Treasures stores in 2014 after 25 successful years.

Scrappy after the world's altitude record, on his P-51 in Korea, by the THUD in Vietnam and the original copy of Collier trophy.
Scrappy after the world’s altitude record, on his P-51 in Korea, by the THUD in Vietnam and the original copy of Collier trophy.

Howard C. “Scrappy” Johnson

He shattered the World’s Altitude Record in 1958 climbing to 91,246 feet in an F-104 Starfighter and in recognition of the record Vice President Richard Nixon presented him with the Robert J. Collier trophy for aeronautical achievement. Scrappy served as a fighter pilot in the US military for 30 years, flying over 7,000 hours in 15 different fighter planes during his career in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Colonel Johnson retired in 1972 after receiving not only the Collier trophy but two Silver Stars, two Legions of Merit, seven Distinguished Flying Crosses and eighteen Air Medals. Colonel Johnson is an inductee of the Florida Aviation Hall Fame and the Kentucky Aviation Hall of Fame. He was a founder and remains active in the Red River Rats, a charitable Vietnam War fighter pilots organization that benefits the children of deceased fighter pilots. Scrappy’s book, Scrappy: Memoir of a U.S. Fighter Pilot in Korea and Vietnam, is available at Barnes & Nobles or at

Click HERE to support JOINT MISSION


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