On Wednesday, Western Plains High School students Beth Lutters (junior), Trista Jenner (senior), Chase Rein (junior), and Jared Stieben (junior), along with WPHS teacher Debbie Hagans, will be leaving the comforts of Kansas for a trip halfway across the country.
They are accompanying World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., as part of an Honor Flight, which is when World War II and other war veterans visit the memorial in Washington, D.C., with the help of volunteers such as the WPHS students.
“Veterans for the Honor Flight are Max Schick (from Phillipsburg and grandfather of Trista Jenner), Bill Bryant from Dighton, Basil Marhofer from Ness City, and Virginia Jones, Art Hopkins and Duane Graeff all from Utica,” Hagans said.
The group will be sent off by gathering along main street Wednesday. The participants will have a motorcycle escort leading them from the school and out of town at 1:30 p.m.
In order to make this trip possible, the WPHS students had to raise $5,500 to fund the venture, so as a way to share with everyone who helped to make the trip financially feasible, the group is going to be blogging about their experiences.
Nearly every day the group is in D.C., they will be posting blog entries about what is going on in order to let other people be on the trip with them without actually stepping foot in on the east coast.
You can follow the group’s blog at this address: http://wphshonorflight.posterous.com/
I’m particularly excited about this because I came up with the idea and set up the blog. I saw this as an incredible educational opportunity for WPHS to do a bit of journalism and provide awesome coverage of a very neat event. Also, it will exposes the students to blogging, which is something many at WPHS aren’t familiar with.
It took some convincing and several logistical hurdles had to be overcome, but I got it all worked out.
I can’t wait to read about how the trip goes for these students and veterans. Honor Flights are a great thing, and I’m glad WPHS takes part.
I urge everyone to check the site often to see what is going on during the trip.
NOTE: I was inspired by what Dan Thalmann at The Washington County News did when local high school students went to Washington, D.C. for the inauguration of President Barack Obama.