Rocky Mountain Honor Flight takes veterans to Washington, D.C. on a once in a lifetime trip

Volunteer helps get World War II veterans to D.C.

DENVER - The National World War II Memorial is a tribute to the veterans of that era.

But age, health and financial circumstances often prevent many Colorado vets from ever seeing it in person.

"'No, I'm my wife's caregiver I can't leave here.'  'No, I'm in a wheelchair and use oxygen I can't physically make a  trip.'  'No, I don't have the money.  I have to buy medications,'" Marry Haddon, with Rocky Mountain Honor Flight, said are some of the reasons she has heard.

But Haddon is helping World War II veterans overcome those obstacles.

She is the president of Rocky Mountain Honor Flight, one of 140 chapters of the national non-profit that provides World War II heroes a trip to see their memorial, all expenses paid. 

"We noticed they walk a little straighter.  Their eyes get a little brighter.  You can see pride in their faces," said Haddon.

And in the true selfless nature so typical of that generation, they feel honored to go.

"Many of them feel they don't deserve the trip because others did more.  Well, if you're a Word War II veteran you gave your all no matter what you did," said Haddon.

"I'm thrilled and excited, but more honored than anything," said Don Cimino, World War II veteran.

Rocky Mountain Honor Flight has completed its 20th trip to our nation's capital. Since 2004, the group has fulfilled the dreams of more than 700 veterans.

"Well, I am looking forward to it, I tell you right now," said Robert Truax, World War II veteran.

Despite the challenges.

"We have our own wheelchairs, we bring our own oxygen, we have two nurses that come on the trip," said Cliff Fejfar, Vice President, Rocky Mountain Honor Flight.

Mary Haddon and her all volunteer staff work year round to make sure all World War II veterans see the memorial that is a tribute to their sacrifice and a celebration of their spirit.

"I am doing this because they gave me something, that I can then pass along to my children and my grandchildren. They protected my right to freedom," said Haddon.

To learn more about Rocky Mountain Honor Flight go to www.rockymountainhonorflight.org

To nominate an outstanding volunteer in your life and read about more of our great volunteers, visit our 7Everyday Hero section.

Follow 7Everyday Hero anchor Mitch Jelniker on Facebook and Twitter.

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