Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fayette County WW II Veterans Say “Thanks” on Veterans Day

World War II veterans Calvin Graves (left center) and Gibbs Ramsey (right center) lead the student body in the Pledge of Allegiance along with Gail Sparrow and assistant principal Ron Plauche.

Students at JC Booth Middle School in Peachtree City have worked hard to help some very special veterans. On Veterans Day, some of those who benefitted from their generosity came to the school to say thanks.

Collectively, the student body has raised over $1,400 for Honor Flight Fayette, a nonprofit organization that flies World War II veterans, at no cost, to see their memorial in Washington, DC. The organization is able to provide the free one-day trips through monetary donations that are used to cover the travel costs.

The Booth students have raised enough money to send five veterans to the memorial. Calvin Graves was one of the first veterans sponsored by the school and was part of the inaugural flight on May 14, 2008.

“I was honored to do what I did for my country and I was proud of my service but I have never been more honored than when 70 of us old guys went to see the WW II memorial. Thank you,” Graves said to the nearly 1,000 students who had packed into the gym to see and hear from the veterans they had helped.

Joining Graves was Gibbs Ramsey, the grandfather of the school’s reading teacher, Courtney Bremer. Gibbs, another veteran sponsored by the school, is going on the Honor Flight scheduled for November 12, the day after Veterans Day. He served in the US Navy during the war and said that he had only one regret.

“We had a great time. I enjoyed every minute of it. My only regret is that I didn’t stay in the Navy,” he said.

Former Fayette County teacher Gail Sparrow, who has been instrumental in heading up Honor Flight Fayette, was also in attendance to thank the students for supporting a cause that is near and dear to her heart.

“Your generosity has sponsored five veterans so that they could go and see their memorial. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you do for these veterans,” Sparrow said.

Honor Flight Fayette accepts donations from individuals and groups throughout the year. To learn more about the program, visit www.honorflightfayette.com.

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