Danville,VA - Blessed Hope Church in Danville has created a new program aimed at fulfilling a big wish of many local veterans.
The program is called Hope for Veterans. It gives Danville and Pittyslvania County vets a chance to visit memorials in Washington D.C. for free.
World War II veteran, Douglass Hayes came up with the idea. He said he knows of many veterans who want to see the memorial before they die.
Hope for Veterans wants to honor these heroes, and give them a trip they'll never forget
"The WWII veterans, there's about 3 million left now," said Douglass Hayes, a WWII Veteran. "And we're dying at the rate of about 600 a day. A lot of them have not been able to view this memorial. I, for one have not been able to go and so I mentioned it to Reverend Edwards.
"I left that conversation, I was broken hearted and I pledged to him that I would do my best to do all that I could to make sure that veterans in Danville and Pittsylvania County have the opportunity to see their memorials," said Brian Edwards, pastor of Blessed Hope Church.
Then Hope For Veterans was born. It's a way honor those who served our country, by fulfilling one of their biggest wishes.
"Their friend's names are on the wall," said James Edwards, a Vietnam Veteran and the trip organizer. "That means so much to them, and they don't have any other way unless to get help to visit the wall."
For some, lack of mobility is the reason they haven't gone yet.
"I cannot drive now and I would have to have somebody else drive me," said Hayes. "Transportation I think is the biggest problem."
And others just need some support to deal with the memories waiting at the memorials.
"I can't go by myself," said Edwards. "I've never gotten up enough nerve to go to that wall yet."
But with Hope For Veterans, neither will be an issue. They plan to make the all expense paid trip to D.C. twice a year.
"It's a patriotic feeling, you know," said Hayes.
Hope for Veterans is planning on busing 45 veterans to visit memorials in D.C. in November. They are still accepting donations to sponsor veterans for the trip
If you would like to contribute click here. Or if know a veteran who wants to participate, call Blessed Hope Church at (434) 836-9349