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West Texas WWII Vets to Fly to Washington D.C. to See Memorial

By Janlyn Thaxton



“Time is of the essence,” says Jeff Ballenger, a 1987 Hardin-Simmons University graduate who has been volunteering for a program that honors World War II veterans. Ballenger says approximately 1,200 World War II vets die each day. That is why he has tapped HSU President Dr. Lanny Hall to co-chair an Honor Flight program for veterans living in West Texas. The West Texas Honor Flight goal is to take those who fought for our country in WWII to Washington D.C. to see their memorial, says Ballenger, who has already aided in taking about 2,000 Iowa vets to D.C.. {{more}}Ballenger, a small business executive and entrepreneur in Council Bluffs Iowa, told HSU faculty and staff during a news conference today that he spent a lot of his childhood at his grandparents’ home in Rule, TX. “My grandfather was a World War II veteran, that’s why I want to bring this program here, to honor those who served with him.” Ballenger says he often sees his grandfather again and again in the characteristics of “The Greatest Generation.” The West Texas Honor Flight, he anticipates, will be this coming spring. Ballenger and Hall will work to raise $250,000 to carry 300 veterans to Washington. Those who wish to go may pick up applications at Hardin-Simmons University at the Dyess Welcome Center near the Cedar Street entrance or the Taylor County Veterans Service Office in the Taylor County Courthouse Annex, Suite 170.Donations may be made to the Taylor County Veterans Service Office, 400 Oak Street, 79602; Hardin-Simmons University, P.O. Box 16100, 79698, both in Abilene, TX; or donations may be sent to West Texas Honor Flight at P.O. Box 125, Council Bluffs, IA 51502. Be sure to designate the check to the West Texas Honor Flight.A website will be available in the coming weeks, but if you would like to see what the program has already done, you may go to says he knows West Texans will step up to support this project.Link to news conference video with an interesting revelation from a vet who was in Hitler’s bunker:

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