This past Monday morning, there were three folks having coffee at NorthPark’s La Madeleine. They were a cute and spry group of 80+ year olds, two women and a man. Unbeknownst to people sitting nearby, they were a treasure trove of history.
The man was 95…”No, I’m 96,” he said with a smile. The woman across the table added, “He was a World War II POW. There aren’t many of them left.” She spoke from the heart, having lost her husband/another vet just the year before.
Over the next few minutes, it was learned that the 96-year-old had been a pilot in a mission where more than 30 planes took off and only four returned. He had been one of those who had been captured by the Germans. After being held captive for a year, he was liberated by the Allied forces and weighed just 86 pounds.
It turned out that the widow’s husband had also been in the same squadron, but he hadn’t been slated to fly that day. Knowing the dangers faced by the crew the previous day, he flew out the next day but returned safely.
Like the widow said, “There aren’t many of them left.”
No, there aren’t many World War II vets left, but they have been joined by countless others who have served this country in the following decades. That is why events benefiting vets are especially poignant when they’re held on Veteran’s Day.
One of those activities is the 5th Annual Patriot Party that will be held on Friday, November 11, at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, benefiting the Housing Crisis Center’s (HCC) disabled and homeless veterans program (Veterans Housing Partnership, Permanent Housing Services and All Citizens Empowerment).
According HCC Executive Director Sherri Ansley, “Veterans are some of the most vulnerable clients we serve and this event raises critically needed funds to support these sometimes neglected member of the community.”
Chairing the event will be John Baer and Co-Chair Katherine Wynne with Lynn and Allan McBee serving as honorary co-chairs.
Sherri added, “We are thrilled to continue the tradition of HCC’s Patriot Party with such a dedicated group of capable leaders. Lynn and Allan McBee’s commitment to the community is widespread and we are honored to have their endorsement and participation in this important fundraising event.”
In addition to providing the funds, the evening will include a cocktail buffet, silent and live auctions and musical entertainment. There will be more deets revealed in the weeks ahead, but tickets and sponsorships are available now.
* Graphics provided by Housing Crisis Center