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Veterans surprised with Honor Flight trip from students

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You may not think your pocket change would ever amount to much, but some local elementary school students put together their change, all to honor some local veterans.

"One of the honor flights was at the Iwo Jima memorial, and that particular day there somebody, I believe he was a grandson of the sculptor, and he said, if you look at the memorial, you'll see there's 13 hands up there raising the flag, and one of the people asked him, well, where does the 13th hand come in, and he said, that was the hand of God. I still get all choked up about that one"

Ray Knippel and John Blaskowski have a chance to visit the memorial at Iwo Jima and more, thanks to some generous elementary school children.

"I don't know what to say," said John, "I was told I was going to be handing out some gifts, and I guess this is a gift, to see all these kids and everybody, I don't know what to say."

The students at St. Anne's Catholic School in Wausau put together their spare change back on Veterans Day. Thanks tot he $1,000 they raised, Ray and John will get to see memorials raised in their honor. They'll head to Washington, D.C. as part of the Never Forgotten Honor Flight this spring. Something these veterans feel honored to do.

"Everyone tells me I should go," said John, "so I guess I'll go."

And they're getting a thank you they may never have gotten...

"When I came back from Korea, when I came back from Vietnam," explained Ray, "nobody ever bothered to say thanks for your service."

...thanks, in part, to these kids.

It never hurts to say thank you.


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