Restaurants support WWII honor flight
Western Slope World War II veterans who couldn’t participate in last year’s honor flight could have that chance to visit Washington, D.C., during a flight slated for May 4-5.
While veterans are encouraged to go on the flight, a fundraising effort has been started to help raise the additional $30,000 needed to make the trip a reality, said Vice President Kris Baugh of Western Slope Honor Flight.
“We’re all working so hard to make these funds. That’s all we live and breathe,” she said. “I can’t think of anything more important than the honor flight. I haven’t found one person that doesn’t believe in our cause.”
There are numerous ways for the community to help local aging veterans visit memorials that were erected in their honor at the nation’s capitol.
Some restaurants are donating a portion of profits to the cause this month.
Carl’s Jr., 2842 North Ave., on Saturday donated 25 percent of its proceeds during a three-hour stretch.
During the morning of March 15, Talley’s Restaurant, 623 Main St., will sell $3 breakfast items with all proceeds going to the honor flight. Some veterans are expected to attend the Talley’s event, Baugh said.
On March 28, Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que, 2440 U.S. Highway 6&50, will donate a portion of sales all day to the fundraiser.
Other events are scheduled for April, and a full listing of fundraising events can be found on the Web site, www. WesternSlopeHonorFlight.com. Donations can be made directly through the site.
The May flight is expected to take 100 veterans and their guardians, a total of 175 people, to Washington, D.C., on a whirlwind, 36-hour trip.
Seventy-six veterans already have reserved a spot for the flight. Veterans’ airfare and all associated costs are free. Guardians pay their own way, and some of the money from guardians helps pay veterans’ costs.
Baugh said she still receives heartfelt thanks from veterans who traveled last August on the Western Slope’s first honor flight. That journey was postponed from a May 2009 date because more funds needed to be raised.
Those extra months proved too long for some aging veterans to wait, and some who had signed up were unable to attend as their health deteriorated.
This year’s flight cannot be postponed, Baugh said. She said she knows there are more veterans on the Western Slope who will want to go on the flight, but they either have not been contacted or don’t know how to contact the agency.
One veteran from last year’s flight died five days after returning home, Baugh said.
“The family said he wanted to stay alive just for the flight,” she said.
“We’ve lost several others since then. For some, it’s kind of like the last thing they want to do on their bucket list.”