Anonymous Donor, World War II Vet Trying To Save NE Honor Flights
Photo: Video by kmtv.com
CREATED Nov. 8, 2013 - UPDATED: Nov. 9, 2013
David City, NE - It will take effort from the entire community to keep honor flights flying high.
Organizers said fundraising proved to be difficult for the flights to D.C. in October.
In the past week, two people have stepped forward determined to keep the flights going.
Harold Heins, who's known as "Shorty" to his family and friends, is 98-years-young and a World War II veteran.
His service landed him on an honor flight a few years ago.
It was his first trip to Washington D.C. and to the World War II Memorial.
"It was one of the nicest experiences I've had," said Heins.
When Heins heard organizers might call it quits because of fundraising, he came up with an idea.
"He called a couple days ago, and said, 'I want to pay for a seat for one of the Korean veterans. I got to go. Someone paid my way. I want to pass this on,'" said Bill Williams, co-organizer of the Korean honor flight.
From there, the idea of adopting a veteran was born.
Community members will pick a vet to sponsor and pay their entire fare.
Heins' plan wasn't Williams' only gift.
On Thursday, he got another phone call. This time, an anonymous donor gave $90,000, which is how much October's flight cost.
Between the $90,000 donated and Heins' sponsorship plan, Korean vets will once again take flight next April.
Williams hopes to take more than 300 vets this time. It's going to be called 'Operation Air Lift.'
"The point isn't just the money, it's the thought of seeing to it that the boys get to go," said Heins.
Each veteran's trip is $500-800.
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