Stan Freet served in the Army as part of the 3rd Division during WWII. He toured in Italy, Germany, France, Austria and North Africa. He returned to eventually marry the love of his life, Dorothy, and entered into a career working with brass instruments.
A former resident at Webster Lake, nowadays he is enjoying his retirement at Kingston Residence on Winchester Road, but not with idle hands. Stan is still on a mission, one that will send a Veteran or two to Washington for the day. Mr. Freet manages to take time from each day to assemble jigsaw puzzles, anywhere from 100 pieces to 2,000 pieces. He then mounts them on foam board and once complete, they are put out for folks to pick up and take home, for a donation to Honor Flight Northeast Indiana.
Stan was able to go on an Honor Flight in May of 2012 and he wants to do “all I can to raise money so others can go too”. Honor Flight Northeast Indiana is a non-profit organization whose mission it is to “safely transport America’s Veterans to Washington D.C., to visit those memorials dedicated to honor their sacrifices.” Thus far Stan has raised almost $400, the amount needed to send one Veteran on the trip. The puzzles are available during many events such as the Kingston Good Old Days, the Waynedale Picnic and will also be available at the Kingston Taste of Waynedale to be held on March 24th.
The World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. was completed and dedicated in May 2004. It is a long overdue “Thank You” to the men and women who sacrificed so much for our freedom, and a memorial to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. It was so long overdue that many WWII survivors have been unable to visit their memorial due to the barriers of advanced age, such as health matters, stamina, finances, or other travel impediments. Honor Flight provides a way for many of these veterans to visit and reflect at their memorial.
WWII veterans pay nothing for this trip. They have given enough. Honor Flights are funded by community donations from generous individuals such as Stan, corporations, foundations, and other groups who wish to be an important part of honoring these heroes. The cost is also defrayed in part by Honor Flight volunteer “guardians,” who make a substantial donation in order to honor veterans in a very personal way, escorting them and being there to help as needed throughout the day.
Camille Garrison has the privilege of supporting Stan every day, as she is a Marketing Director at Kingston Residence. “I first met Stan as he returned from his trip to Washington D.C. and I was so moved by the reactions of the returning Veterans I immediately decided I needed to get more involved.” Many flights later, she is a board member of Honor Flight and loves it. “I am happy I can help in some small way to allow these men and women realize their dream of seeing their memorials.”
There are four flights planned for 2015; April 22, May 30 and two fall flights. The immediate focus of the Honor Flight Network will remain on WWII veterans and those veterans from any war that have a terminal illness; however, the vision goes beyond WWII. In the future, Honor Flight plans to pay tribute to America’s other heroes that served during the Korean and Vietnam wars, followed by veterans of more current wars. They too have given so much and it is time to show them that their efforts will not be forgotten.
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