Nebraska Hall County Supervisor Gary Quandt is spending a few days atop the county courthouse, 160 hours to be precise, in an effort to raise $15,000 for Hall County Vietnam Hero Flight, a local non-profit that sends vets on a trip-of-a-lifetime to Washington, DC, annually. He’s going to chip in an additional $1,500 from his own pockets if he reaches his goal, but Steve Hornady—owner of the famed ammunition manufacturer by the same name—and his wife Jill are going to match whatever is raised to further the worthwhile effort.
Earlier this month, the Grand Island, NE-based group sent 90 vets back to the nation’s capital, and staged a huge welcome home with more than 1,000 in attendance when they returned. “You just can’t believe what is going on through my head right now,” Vietnam War veteran Alan Bosselman said of the homecoming. “This is going to be with me forever. I don’t tear up much, but this has got me.”
Pam Lancaster, a member of the Hall County Board of Supervisors explained, “This homecoming may be 50 years late, but we, here in Hall County, are so very glad for this to take place today and very happy to be part of that.”
This was the second trip arranged for Vietnam War vets by the group, although it’s previously honored service members from World War II and Korea with three and two flights, respectively. This year an Allegiant Airlines flight was chartered for transportation.
Cost for the trip, which includes lodging, meals, air fare and tours that include many major sights in Washington, DC, are estimated to be $1,500 per vet. To donate to the group, which is modestly rectifying the angry reception many veterans received as they returned from Southeast Asia during sometimes violent protests in the U.S., visit the organization’s website.