Kelsey Clinton believes a project she started a year ago to send veterans to Washington, D.C. kindled the same kind of feeling in her Lynchburg-Clay classmates that she felt after visiting a veterans home. That’s why she’s holding another Honor Flight fundraiser April 14-18.
“I chose to continue the Honor Flight fundraiser because of the appreciation that Honor Flight Dayton expressed and my personal interpretation of the success,” Clinton, a Lynchburg senior, said. “I believe my fundraiser was able to not only gather money, but also created newfound respect and awareness in Lynchburg’s student body for the sacrifices veterans had made for us to live in safety and comfort.
“I believe veterans get lost in the controversy over war and the status of the military. Whether you support wars or the military, veterans fought for your rights and risked their lives for you. Respect and admiration should be given to these men and women by all Americans regardless of personal views. I think this is an epidemic especially common in the teenagers of our society because we have issues seeing things beyond our own problems. By continuing this fundraiser, I hope to once more bring the attention of my fellow students to something beyond ourselves, as well as help out the men and women who did so much to help the rest of us.”
This year, Clinton is trying to raise $1,005, or enough to send three veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the monuments that have been erected in their honor.
On April 14-18, Clinton will hold a change drive at Lynchburg-Clay High School to raise money for her project. During the weeks around that time, she’ll also contact local businesses for a donation. If they donate, they’ll be added to a sign of supporting businesses that will hang Lynchburg-Clay High School.
On Thursday, representatives from Honor Flight Dayton will visit Lynchburg-Clay and give a presentation about the program.
Others can help by donating money at the high school any time, allowing her to place a donation can in their business, or by spreading the word.
Honor Flight has hubs across the nation, including in Cincinnati and Dayton, with varying costs for flying veterans to Washington, D.C. Guardians, which can be family members, can fly with the veterans, but they have to pay their own way. More information can be found at honorflight.org
A year ago, Clinton’s program sent World War II veteran Pete West and Korean War veteran Robert Hunter to the nation’s capital. This year, Clinton says she doesn’t have anyone in particular picked out to go, but she is working the help of the Highland County Veterans Service Commission.
Clinton originally came up with the idea for sponsoring Honor Flight veterans after visiting a nursing home.
“… I took a trip to a veterans home and interviewed a World War II veteran and I really felt I should do something for them since they did so much for us,” Clinton said a year ago.
Clinton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-509-5416.