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Purple Heart Honor Flight Planned

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Desert Storm, Iraq, Afghanistan veterans will visit D.C. in May

By Joe Foreman, Editor

Western Iowa Veterans from Operation Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan who have been awarded a Purple Heart or Bronze Star With Valor are encouraged to submit their online application to be a member of the Purple Heart Veterans Flight to Washington, D.C., on May 24.

The Purple Heart veterans will be flown from Omaha to Washington, D.C., where they’ll spend the day visiting several national military memorials, including World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Air Force, Iwo Jima, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and Section 60 at Arlington National Cemetery (where the fallen from Iraq and Afghanistan are buried).

A stop also will be made to view the “Remembering Our Fallen” national memorial created by Patriotic Productions, a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring U.S. veterans and founded by Red Oak native Bill Williams and his wife, Evonne. The Remember Our Fallen memorial will be displayed near the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool on the National Mall.

Over the past decade, Williams and Patriotic Productions has coordinated 12 “honor flights” to Washington, D.C., for World War II, Korea, Vietnam and female veterans from Nebraska and Iowa.

“We’ve been asked numerous times about a flight for Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. To take all, it would be multiple flights and a million dollars,” Williams said. “This is our compromise - taking the Purple Heart recipients and the highest-decorated combat veterans from the same conflicts. We also will include some of the Gold Star children of the fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

In addition to their full day in Washington, D.C., the Purple Heart veterans will be welcomed back to Omaha with a patriotic parade and celebration in Omaha’s Old Market and Durham Museum.

Veterans may download the application for the Purple Heart Veterans Flight at www.patrioticproductions.org.

Purple Heart
Veterans Flight Fundraiser

To help pay for the Purple Heart Veterans Flight, Patriotic Productions is hosting a “Solid Gold Saturday Night” dinner-show fundraiser on March 2 at the South Creek Wedding and Events Center in Blair, Neb. Tickets for the event, which can be purchased online at www.patrioticproductions.org, will include a prime rib dinner and a performance by Gary Lewis and the Playboys. The group’s performance will include songs like “The Diamond Ring,” “Save Your Heart For Me,” “Count Me In,” and “She’s Just My Style.”