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Left to right: Jay Lloyd, Paul Coffman, Coleman White. Jay and Coleman are owners of the Johnson Creek Tavern and all three are Honor Flight Guardians

How do you show appreciation to our war veterans?

Meet the Honor Flight Network. This amazing nationwide group provides three day trips to US war veterans so that they can see the war memorials in Washington and Arlington that honor their service to our country. This trip is provided at no cost to the veteran and is funded entirely by private and corporate donations.

Besides the veteran, Honor Flight sends trained, volunteer “guardians” on each trip to help with logistics and other needs of the veterans. But perhaps more valuable to the veteran is not the trip, but the companionship of other veterans, new friends with similar experiences and men and women who have a true understanding and appreciation for the missions these soldiers accomplished.

Left to right: Jay Lloyd, Paul Coffman, Coleman White. Jay and Coleman are owners of the Johnson Creek Tavern and all three are Honor Flight Guardians

So when Owen Hand, an Honor Flight board member, was approached by Johnson Creek Tavern co-owner Coleman White one day at the gym where they both work out, Hand listened to White’s amazing offer. White suggested that all of the dollar bills that have been tacked onto the restaurants walls and ceiling in two rooms since 1999 would be donated to the Honor Flight Network. The only catch was that somebody had to take them all down. And in stepped 20 or so marines from the Marine Corp. Air Station to do the tedious work of pulling out lots and lots of small nails from the walls. In the end, almost $13.000 was given to the Honor Flight Network.

This very generous donation will make it possible for approximately 26 veterans to make this trip in May. Besides World War II vets, those who fought in Korea and Vietnam are also eligible to go.

Hand recounted his experience of being with veterans at the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington. “It was probably the most powerful and moving moment I have ever experienced. No way can we adequately thank these men and women for the sacrifices they all made on my behalf – and on your behalf. The Honor Flight Network has taken 1000’s of veterans to Washington and I hope we will be able to take 1000’s more. The Johnson Creek Tavern has certainly shown what it means to be supportive of our war veterans and personally, I cannot thank them enough.”

Neither can we. For more information on the Honor Flight Network go to  www.honorflightsavannah.org.

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