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Merrill school sponsors Honor Flights for three Vietnam veterans
MERRILL - A Northwoods school pulled off a big surprise on Friday to honor a few veterans. After months of planning, students and staff at Kate Goodrich Elementary got to see the payoff of all their hard work.

"It was like kind of overwhelming," said Wolfgang Lenk. 

Lenk, Todd Annis, and Randy Perry had no idea they would be the guests of honor.

"To see all these kids and knowing how hard they worked selling all this, and now your name comes up that you're one of the three recipients, it was awesome," said Annis. 

Merrill's Kate Goodrich Elementary School surprised the three Vietnam veterans with boarding passes to attend a future Honor Flight.

"It's amazing," said second grade teacher Melanie Hagemeister. "We've been talking about this day since December." 

Students and staff raised money through different fundraisers to sponsor the flight passes. The veterans will travel to Washington D.C., where they will view the memorials dedicated to their service.

"It's very special that the youngsters get involved in helping to support veterans," said Honor Flight President Mike Thompson. 

Perry has welcomed veterans home from the Honor Flight in the past, and he is excited to experience that welcoming himself in the future. 

"To see the smiles and the tears on these guys walking through, it's going to be fun," said Perry.

It may be a while before their flight takes off, but for now the recipients are simply glad to have been chosen for the Honor Flight.

"It was wonderful, it was very shocking but it was just a wonderful experience," said Annis. 
 
Kate Goodrich staff say there may be plans to try and sponsor more flights again in the future.


Story By: Dakota Sherek


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