The Veterans Project logo has been graciously designed and donated by Lee Cunningham. If you need some custom shirts,hats or artwork done, contact me for his information, you’ll be glad you did!
This is me. Sorry if you’re disappointed but my Mom and Dads DNA can only do so much! I’m standing in the door way of a CH-47D Chinook helicopter flown by the unit at Selfridge Air National Guard base.
This is Major Fitzpatrick who is the CO of the unit. I built the model for the unit being the Chinook is by far my favorite chopper. The Major gave me a tour of the facility at the base as well as permission to crawl in, under, over, thrue and around the helos, it was great! Sadly duty called and 4 days later the unit and 5 of their aircraft were on their way to Afghanistan…again! The cool part was they flew over my house, not sure if they planned that or if it was just my luck, but I did get to see them off. I hope they stay safe!
Ok, with that, I’ll tell you what this Project is all about. Firstly, you’ll notice how ‘project’ will always be capitalized. The reason for that is to show importance of and respect to those who the Project was started for. I’m a huge supporter of our military past and present. I tend to focus on World War Two being that generation is quickly fading away. I’ve read that in the next 12-15 years there won’t even be a Veteran of the Greatest Generation.
Over the years, I’ve built models of aircraft and armor and have given them to Veterans I’ve met along the way of my life. Back then my model building skills were less then award winning, but to see the look in those mens eyes when they held a model of the Sherman tank they crewed or the P-47 Thunderbolt they piloted erased any flaws I made while building their kit. I strove to improve on my hobby and feel I build pretty decent models now, and those men deserve the very best I can do.
As time went on, I began actively looking for WW2 Veterans. Whether it was the license plate on their car, baseball cap proudly announcing their service or just a gut feeling I had, I’d make their acquaintance, chat with them regarding what branch they served in, where they were and what they did. Easily 90% of the men I met were truly happy that someone of my generation took note of what they did during the greatest conflict in human history. Then I got the idea of asking them if they’d like a model as a thank you gift for their service. Almost all of them are skeptical, who wouldn’t be when a stranger approaches you and offers you something for nothing? But as I tell them it’s not “for nothing”. The way I see it, those men paid for their models 70 years ago.
I’d like to close this first posting with some pictures of those who have received their thank you gifts.
He may look like Morgan Freeman, but he’s really Frank Fisher. Mr Fisher drove for the famed Red Ball Express. While not one of the truckers, he was tasked with keeping them rolling, therefore he asked for a model of his mount.
Pete Morici was a crew man with the 367th Fighter Squadron, the “Orange Tails”
Not just World War Two Veterans get models. This is James Watson, door gunner on a CH-47A Chinook in the Vietnam conflict. Mr Watson was shot down 3 times in 13 months. Don’t you think he deserves a thank you?