American Quilter's Society

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American Quilter's Society
PO Box 3290
Paducah, KY 42002-3290

Toll-free (for orders only, please):
1-800-626-5420
Phone: 270-898-7903
Fax: 270-898-1173

Physical Street Address for UPS/FedEx Shipments Only:
5801 Kentucky Dam Road Paducah, KY 42003-9323

Quilting Community AQS News

Sulky of America Sponsors WW II Veterans Visit to Memorial in Washington, DC

Assisting Honor Air Organization

by Patti Lee, Sulky of America

November, 2009: Fred Drexler, Founding Partner of Sulky of America and a member of the Franklin NC Rotary Club, has been strongly involved in a project that his Western NC Rotary District calls “Honor Air” (known as “Honor Flight” in some parts of the Country). This is a fantastic project in which the Franklin Rotary Club participates with many other Rotary Clubs in their District to locate and send as many World War II Veterans as they can, free of charge, to Washington DC to visit the National World War II Memorial that was completed in 2004. This Memorial honors the 16 million U.S. armed forces who served in WW ll and the more than 400,000 who died in battle.

On October 31, 2009, for the second time this year, Fred’s Western NC Rotary District chartered a 145-seat US Air jet that accommodated 100 WW ll Veterans and their volunteer assistants, called guardians, (at least 1 for every 3 Veterans) and other support staff and medical personnel, including a Doctor. Thanks to financial help from Sulky of America, Fred Drexler’s Rotary Club sponsored 12 of those Veterans and 4 Guardians.

Sulky of America has made a commitment to be continuously involved with this project to honor all remaining Veterans of WW ll in the name of Joyce Drexler’s dad who served for several years in Italy, France, and Africa, and who died in 2004 before he had a chance to visit the Memorial; and also the grandfather who raised the current Sulky of America President, Jason Prater, who also served for several years and died without being able to visit the Memorial.

Guardians who have made this trip with a planeload of Veterans say "Witnessing their emotions is what fuels our cause. When you see WW II veterans break down in tears because they had no idea how much this nation reveres, cherishes and loves them for what they've done, it really overwhelms them,"

Fred urges you to locate a civic organization in or near your community and work with them to make this program happen in your area before it is too late. (Of the roughly 16 million Americans who served in the Armed Forces during the war, less than two million are still alive, and a thousand of them are dying every day).

The idea for Honor Flight came from Earl Morse, who was a physician’s assistant at a Veterans Affairs clinic in Springfield, Ohio, when the World War II Memorial opened in 2004.

“I would see my World War II veterans some three to six months later, and I’d ask them if they’d gone to see it,” said Mr. Morse, a veteran of the Air Force and now the president of Honor Flight. “Three hundred of them, and not one of them had been to it. Reality set in. They were never going.”

Mr. Morse started the program with the help of a pilots’ club at a nearby Air Force base. Its first flight was in May 2005. But Honor Flight eventually outgrew smaller planes and switched to flying veterans commercially. It became the Honor Flight Network when it merged with Honor Air, a group started by Jeff Miller, a North Carolina man who uses charter planes to transport veterans to Washington.

The Honor Flight Network now has 85 regional hubs in 33 states, with each hub required to plan its own flights, do its own fund-raising, and find its own volunteers. The group flew about 135 veterans to the memorial in 2005. This year, it has already flown more than 10,000 there, and about 30,000 since the program’s inception.

Fred invites you to visit www.sulky.com and www.honorflight.org to read more detailed information about this wonderful project.