Rowe student gives big to Honor Flight San Diego
Inpired by her teacher, a little girl made a big difference for members of the greatest generation and veterans of the forgotten war.
Sloan Harris, a 10-year-old fifth grader at R. Roger Rowe School, raised $5,000 to send two World War II or Korean War veterans on an Honor Flight, a three-day trip to Washington D.C. to recognize their contributions to this country and visit the memorials dedicated to their service. When they return, the veterans are greeted with a big patriotic homecoming at the airport.
“Some of the heroes are kind of forgotten and raising that money makes them feel really good that we remember them,” Sloan said. “And it makes you feel good also.”
Sloan first became interested in Honor Flight when she made a birthday card in school for Bob Brown, a 104-year-old World War II veteran going on the 2021 trip. Stacey Halboth, a literacy teacher at Rowe, had told students all about her volunteer work with the non-profit organization that relies entirely on fundraising and volunteers to make these trips possible. Halboth has accompanied veterans on the trips and, in addition to making cards, invited students to the hero’s welcome at the airport in October. This fall’s trip was the largest that Honor Flight San Diego has ever done with 94 veterans, six of them over 100 years old.
Sloan was among several Rowe students who took part in the airport homecoming celebration, which is where Sloan got to meet Mr. Brown in person.
“It was just so amazing to meet all of them, to shake their hands and say ‘Thank you for your service’,” Sloan said. “I wanted to do something, I wanted to send more veterans on an Honor Flight.”
To put the call out for donations, Sloan made a video that she shared with family and friends. Each trip costs $2,500 per veteran and she was grateful and proud to collect enough money to send two veterans on the next trip, which tentatively will take place in April.
Sloan hopes to FaceTime with the veterans before their trip and she definitely plans to go to the airport again to take part in the heartwarming homecoming: “ I just wish it was sooner.”
Pending funding, Honor Flight San Diego hopes to take at least two flights in 2022: They have 119 World War II and Korean War veterans on their waiting list to go. To donate, visit honorflightsandiego.org
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