Wauwatosa Students Raise Money for Honor Flight


Erin Scholtus

Stars and stripes representatives and Korean War veteran Larry Wiest collects the $2300 check raised by Wauwatosa West and East students and staff.

Serena Stern and Erin Scholtus

Wauwatosa West is honoring veterans by organizing a fundraiser for the program Honor Flight in honor of Veteran’s day. Teacher Chad Mateske has organized this not only at Wauwatosa West but also Wauwatosa East.

Honor Flight is a non-profit organization that provides the elderly veterans with closure and respect. Every year, they travel to Washington D.C. where they see their respective memorials through the program. 

The program helps Veterans from World War 2, the Korean war, and the Vietnam war. They also serve terminally ill veterans from any war era. 

Wauwatosa West and Wauwatosa East collected donations through November 6th so the veterans can see war memorials honoring their service to the United States. 

“Our first stop was the tomb of the unknown soldier. It’s very emotional; it’s very quiet,” says Korean war veteran Lawrence Wiest. 

The goal was to send five veterans, which required about one dollar from each student. However, the response from Wauwatosa West and East students and staff has been so overwhelming that the goal was exceeded. 

The proceeds raised this year has totaled up to about $2,300. It’s enough to send 17 veterans. In 3 years, the program has earned over $8,500.    

According to Weist, the flight is a life-changing experience for those who get to do it. He has been working with the program since his own Honor Flight 5 years ago.

“It’s my life. I love it. I had the privilege of witnessing what goes on and I want every vet to be able to witness that,” Weist said.    

The winning advisory will get a pizza party and second place will get doughnuts. Regardless of the prize, the students and staff of both high schools have shown their unconditional support of veterans.