In 2011, Hardin-Simmons University helped sponsor the West
Texas Honor Flight, which allowed area World War II veterans to go to
Washington DC- free of charge so they could see the World War II memorial. During
the Veteran’s Appreciation football game on November 8, 2014, the veterans and
family members who made this trip in 2011, joined HSU President, Lanny Hall and
Director of Athletics, John Neese, on the field for a special tribute.
As part of the Veterans Day celebration, Hardin-Simmons
University acknowledged the work of two alumni who helped honor nearly three
thousand World War II and Korean War veterans.
Bill Ballenger, Class of 1959 and his son, Jeff Ballenger,
Class of 1987, helped raise the funds for 13 Honor Flights. These flights have
taken veterans of World War II and Korea to Washington D.C., where they have
been able to tour the World War II and Korean War Memorials along with seeing
the Tomb of the Unknown Solider and other prominent sites.
Thanks to the work of the Ballengers, the Veterans were able
to go on the trip for free, because the funds for the trip and the dinner were
all raised from donations.
In 2011, the Ballengers worked with Hardin-Simmons to raise
money for the West Texas Honor Flight, which allowed over 150 veterans from Texas
to make the trip.
Both Bill and Jeff Ballenger were presented with plaques
thanking them for their efforts in honoring the men and women who have served
our country. Over 60 of the original
group that traveled to Washington D.C. and their families were in attendance
that day and Hardin-Simmons University thanked them publicly for the sacrifices
they made for our country and how they helped preserve freedom and democracy.
For more information on the Honor Flight visit http://www.honorflight.org