Veterans receive support from the "Heartland"

Thursday, October 6, 2011
Heartland Medical Equipment presents a check of more than $1,500 for Show Me Honor Flight Thursday morning, Oct. 6. Pictured left to right are: Barney Burks, Army, retired; Paul Collier, Navy, retired; Ray Arth, Air Force, retired; Charlie Guthrie, Navy, retired; and Sara Kirchhoff, manager of Heartland Medical Equipment. (Sarah Reed/Democrat-News)

More than 300 veterans from Central Missouri have had the opportunity to see their memorials in Washington D.C. because of Show Me Honor Flight and the efforts of many supporters.

Thursday morning, Oct. 6, Heartland Medical Equipment in Marshall, donated $1,540.68 to the Honor Flight. It will help at least five Saline County vets board the next flight, which is scheduled Monday, Oct. 10.

"This was an effort of my entire staff," said Sara Kirchhoff, manager of Heartland Medical.

The first Honor Flight left Springfield, Ohio, in May 2005, and a network has formed nationwide with the goal of transporting all veterans to their memorials in Washington. According to the Honor Flight Network, the program's top priority is serving survivors of World War II and any veteran with a terminal illness. It then focuses on veterans of wars following World War II.

Additionally, the trips come at no cost to veterans, who also travel with an escort.

"It was the most wonderful trip," said Barney Burks, retired from the U.S. Army. "Many people probably couldn't make it on their own."

Heartland staff wanted to show their support of local veterans, which was well received by the group they presented the check to.

"We surely appreciate what Heartland Medical has done," said Charlie Guthrie, U.S. Navy, retired. "This will (support) five or six veterans from the county."

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