On Friday, September 17, preschool students and staff hosted a farewell ceremony for custodian Craig Eberhard before he embarks on his Honor Flight.
On the final day of preschool last year, the staff, PTA and parents surprised army veteran Craig Eberhard, their custodian, with the trip of a lifetime – the opportunity to escort a senior veteran to Washington, D.C. as part of the Honor Flight program. They also purchased a flag in his name at the Field of Heroes. Honor Flight flies senior veterans from WWII and the Korean conflict to the nation’s capitol to see their monuments, free of charge, as a way of thanking them for their service to our country. Guardians donate $300 each to offset costs for the privilege of escorting the senior military personnel. To date, thousands of dollars have been raised in Westerville for this program. Eberhard just learned he will be escorting 82-year-old Hershel Green, who served in Korea. “I can’t wait to meet him,” he said.
In addition to Eberhard, a number of Westerville pupils and educators will be participating in the September 19 event. They are: students Connor Vermillion (Westerville North), Prestin Minter (Westerville Central) and Lauren Kennedy (Westerville South); and staff members Paula Dalton (Westerville South), John Sands (Westerville North), Susannah Lee (Westerville Central), Lisa Reschke (Cherrington Elementary) and Laura Thornton (Early Learning Center).
The public is invited to welcome home returning veterans on the evening of September 19 at Port Columbus International Airport. Participants are being asked to gather near the Southwest Airlines ticket area on the main level of Port Columbus around 8:45 p.m. To donate to Honor Flight or learn more about how to get involved, please visit www.honorflightcolumbus.org.