Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Eleventh Veterans Trip to Washington, DC Announced

Shelby County (OH) Veterans to Washington, DC Committee co-chairs Jody Prater and Mike Bennett have announced that this group of volunteers is now accepting applications for their eleventh trip to Washington, DC of Shelby County WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War Veterans who haven’t yet visited their memorials. This year’s trip dates are September 18-20. Accompanying the Veterans will be their caregivers and committee volunteers. Like the organization’s previous ten trips beginning in 2009, the trip is free for Veterans. Veterans with ties to Shelby County will have first priority. Veterans from outside Shelby County will be considered as space is available.

The committee’s record of service to area WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War Veterans is impressive. Over ten previous trips, the committee has taken 370 Veterans to Washington accompanied by 283 family caregivers who assist their loved ones and 235 committee volunteers that handle travel logistics.

The first and third day of the trip itinerary will be motor coach travel between Sidney and Washington, DC. The second day in Washington begins after breakfast with a visit to the Tomb of the Unknowns. There the Shelby County group will lay a wreath at the tomb with the assistance of 3rd Infantry Regiment "The Old Guard" guards. Following the ceremony will be a caravan tour of Arlington National Cemetery. Next up will be visits to the United States Air Force Memorial, the Marine Corp War Memorial (also known as the Iwo Jim Memorial) and lunch. After lunch will be visits to the World War II Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial and the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial. And new this year will be a stop at the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial that was dedicated by President Obama last October 5. Following dinner all Veterans and guests will return to their hotel for fellowship and a good night’s rest. Besides motor coach travel, trip details include all meals, lodging and regular rest breaks. Medical providers and volunteers will assist Veterans with their special needs.

Committee members have already begun raising funds for the September 18-20 trip through private and corporate donations to cover all expenses for the Veterans. Caregivers and volunteers will be required to pay $250 to cover their expenses.

Jody Prater adds that there are two special forms of donations to sponsor a Veteran; the “Memorial Donation” and the “Sponsorship Donation.” Both are tax deductible. The Memorial Donation is for an individual or group (church, family, school, service club, etc.) making a $355 donation in memory of a deceased Veteran(s) or loved one(s). And a $355 “Sponsorship Donation” is an excellent way for an individual or group to sponsor an attending Veteran they know or one they wish to sponsor. For both Memorial and Sponsorship Donations, information will be exchanged between paired sponsor and Veteran except where anonymity is requested.

Veteran, caregiver and volunteer applications for the September 18-20 trip can be picked up in Sidney at the American Legion Post 217, VFW Post 4239, AMVETS Post 1896 or the Shelby County Veterans Service Office inside the Monument Building in downtown Sidney. Applications can also be picked up in Ft. Loramie at the American Legion Post 355. Applications can also be downloaded from the committee’s website To find out more about Memorial and Sponsorship Donations or for more information about this very worthwhile project, contact either Jody Prater at 937-638-8670 or by e-mail at or Mike Bennett at 419-628-0012 or by email at See the committee’s website for information about the group’s previous ten trips and activities. All application forms and tax deductible donations should be mailed to Veterans to Washington, DC, PO Box 408, Anna, OH 45302. All applications for the September 18-20 trip must be received by July 31.

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