Central Minnesota Honor Flight for vets planned for April
STAPLES — Staples Host Lions Honor Flight Central MN recently announced details of “Veterans to Washington DC No. 3,” a project organized to honor veterans with a free trip to their memorials in Washington D.C. April 12 - April 13. At 6:15 p.m. April 12, the group has been granted permission to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. There will be a send-off April 11, at Staples-Motley High School gym, and a welcome home April 14, at Faith Lutheran Church.
Frank Odell, project chairman, said together we have an opportunity to pay tribute to a group of men and women who altered history. In May, 2004 the World War II Memorial on the Mall in Washington DC was dedicated to honor the men and women who stepped forward and sacrificed much to preserve the traditions of the United States. Unfortunately, many of those veterans could not attend the ceremony. And, even more tragic, thousands have passed away. In addition to these World War II Vets, Korean War Vets also are deserving of seeing their Korean War Memorial on the Mall in Washington.
Staples Host Lions Honor Flight Central Minnesota is raising money to send 20 Veterans to Washington D.C. and thanks to a $10,000 donation from SE Honor Flight Hub in Rochester, the group is well on its way to achieving its goal of $16,000. While the veterans’ trip is free, guardians who help veterans with whatever is needed on the trip, pay their own costs — approximately $800. Like the 2008 and 2011 Veterans to Washington D.C. trips and as a special tribute, the organization will again have “Mail Call.” Some veterans on the 2011 trip received more than 100 letters. The veterans will have time to read mail when traveling by bus to the airport; when flying from Minneapolis to Washington; and finally when they return home. Every one is encouraged to write a letter thanking them for their sacrifice and service for our country. These letters would be needed by April 9, 2012. Return letters to: Frank Odell, 12448 Ponderosa Dr. Staples, MN 56479 or give to any Staples Host Lions member. Applications for Veterans and guardians are available from any Lions member or can picked up at Tower Pizza in Staples. In selecting veterans, priority will be given to: Veterans in our area, WW II, Korean, and then any terminally ill vet in this order based on the date Host Lions receive the application. Priority for Guardians will be determined by the Host Lions Veterans Committee and all decisions of the Host Lions Committee are final. For additional information interested persons may call (218) 894-2131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be an informational meeting at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 28,in the Lions Building 403 Wisconsin Ave in Staples.