South Bend and Mishawaka fire departments give $3000 to Honor Fl - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

South Bend and Mishawaka fire departments give $3000 to Honor Flight

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The Honor Flight Network is an organization that flies Veterans to Washington D.C. to visit the war memorials. In honor of D-Day, South Bend and Mishawaka Fire Departments donated nearly $3,000 dollars to the non-profit.

"They saved the world. They preserved our freedom. We owe them more," that's the slogan Honor Flight operates under. Both South Bend and Mishawaka Fire departments raised money by selling shirts for the veterans. They've shown up around town, and have even reached as far as Afghanistan.
    
The President of Honor Flight Northeast Indiana Bob Myer has gone on eleven flights. He says the reaction from veterans when they first see the memorial pulls at his heart strings each and every time. "It's pretty hard to describe. These gentlemen are so humble and so grateful for what we do, which is very little considering what they did for us," he says.
    
Each trip includes about 70 veterans. They fly to D.C. for the day, with the price tag around $55,000 dollars. The charity relies solely on donations. Myer says the generosity from the South Bend and Mishawaka fire departments will go a long way.

"When they get to see that memorial, a lot of emotions are coming out. And then there's a lot of stories that come out according to the family members from what we hear, have never been heard before," says Myer.
    
Richard Barnes and Bill Crull flew to D.C. last Wednesday. "It was the trip of a lifetime. They treated us like royalty," says Crull, who served in the Marines.
    
But at the same time it brought back painful memories. Richard Barnes served in the Pacific for the US Navy. He says, "The ship that I was on was torpedoed. I think that came back to my mind the most." Crull says it was painful to see the "gold stars". At the memorial, built in 2004, there is a wall of gold stars, each representing 100 casualties. "Why I came back and God spared me. It brought back lots of bad memories," says Crull.

The Northeast Indiana Honor Flight chapter is getting ready for their October flight. Myer says there's still room for the next trip. For more information, click here
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