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posted: 11/11/2012 4:40 AM

Honor service by supporting vets

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Veterans Day has special meaning to our American servicemen, especially our veterans.

No one knows this better than Randy Granath, chairman of the Veterans Network Committee of Northern Illinois.

Randy works tirelessly to raise money to support veterans and has brought the local community together in their honor. His most visible initiative is the Honor Flight Program for Northern Illinois, which raises money to send World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., to view the World War II memorials.

This past summer, I was beginning to interview veterans to document their war experiences and to validate what I want to do after high school. Randy learned of my project and invited me to join his Honor Flight trip to help assist veterans. He served as a mentor and gave me guidance in assisting the veterans on this three-day sentimental journey. Viewing the World War II Memorial through the eyes of the veterans was an experience of a lifetime.

In addition to Honor Flight, the VNC provides veterans assistance programs, collects food for our troops in Afghanistan, offers school programs to show the youth how they can support veterans, to name a few.

Since my Honor Flight trip, I have a deeper appreciation for veterans and volunteers like Randy, who work tirelessly to give back to our military and especially our veterans. For information on the Veterans Network Committee, go to

Eric Gier


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