Looking for a way to do something meaningful with your economic stimulus check? I'd call your attention to a little-known charity, The Honor Flight Network for WW II veterans.

The sad fact is the nation delayed building the WW II memorial on the mall in Washington, D.C. until most of that war's soldiers were well into the 80's, with financial and health issues that limit their ability to visit the site. In 2004, Earl Morse, a retired Air Force Captain working with veterans took note of this problem, and took it upon himself to fly one of the veterans to D.C. on his own plane. The visit was so moving that he was inspired to create an organization dedicating to offering this opportunity to as many WW II veterans as possible.

The organization operates completely on donated funds. While private pilots and their planes were recruited early on, the number of veterans wishing to make this trip to honor their fallen brethren has forced Honor Flight to use commercial flights. The trips are still fully paid for by the organization, though. In 2006, 891 veterans were able to visit the memorial through Honor Flight.

Over 400,000 Americans died in WW II, and another 670,000 were injured. A 16-year-old that joined the war effort in 1945, the year the war ended, will be 79 this year. The clock is ticking.


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