Family helps Honor Flight pay tribute to war veterans

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For many veterans, a trip to visit the memorials in Washington D.C. can add closure and happiness to one's life. For Dawn Vadnie's grandpa Gene, who served in the Korean War, just knowing that his name was added to the Honor Flight list was very humbling and exciting.

"He was pretty honored, not something he expected by any means," said Vadnie.

A few weeks after getting the news that Grandpa Gene's name was added to the list, tragedy struck the Vadnie family. Grandpa Gene who was so passionate about the trip to see the memorial, suddenly passed away.

Motivated to honor her grandfather, Dawn and her father Kurt made it their mission to do something special.

"He just said, I want to get wheel chairs, I want to get my trailer, and I want to fill it with wheelchairs, and take it down to Fargo for the Honor flight, so they don't have to take that extra time anymore and just focus on the veterans," said Vadnie.

Vadnie used social media to urge others to help donate wheelchairs that would help with getting the veterans on and off the plane. The post helped generate twenty donated wheelchairs, in a matter of ten days.

Knowing that this trip for the ages brings joy to the veterans, Dawn along with the rest of her family plan to continue helping the Honor Flight organization of North Dakota/Minnesota for years to come.

"Any chance we get, if they're doing something we want to be there and we want to help," said Vadnie.

The next Honor Flight event leaves early on Sunday May 20th. Valley News Live’s Mike Morken will be on board with veterans providing coverage on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday at nine on the Fargo CW and Valley News Live at ten.