Santa Barbara, CA, September 09, 2016 --(PR.com
)-- Sixty-nine-year-old John Lechowicz will have his final Dream fulfilled by Dream Foundation, the only national dream-granting program for terminally-ill adults, and Honor Flight’s Their Last Chance program, which transports America’s veterans via Southwest Airlines to Washington to visit the memorials dedicated to honoring their service and sacrifices.
"We are excited to see this collaborative effort materialize for two of our partners, Dream Foundation and Honor Flight Network," said Southwest Airlines Vice President and Chief Communications Officer Linda Rutherford. "This opportunity evolved as a result of hosting our charitable partners last year for a shared learning experience, and we are proud of the innovative ways they continue to engage with Southwest and one another to make a positive difference in the community."
Lechowicz, a U.S. Air Force veteran who served for four years, dreams of visiting the war memorials in Washington with his friend, caretaker, and fellow Vietnam veteran, Ed Kurz. Lechowicz remembers seeing fallen veterans during his time in Vietnam and says that even though he will never know their names, he would like to connect with them by touching the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.
Thanks to Dream Foundation’s Dreams for Veterans program and Honor Flight, Lechowicz and Kurz will travel from Yorkville, Ill., to Washington on September 10th, where they will visit the National World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Following an Arby’s boxed lunch, Lechowicz and Kurz will continue their tour by visiting the U.S. Capitol, the U.S. Navy Memorial, and the Naval Museum. They will also visit Arlington National Cemetery to witness the Changing of the Guard, visit the Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial), and the U.S Air Force Memorial before ending their day with dinner at Golden Coral.
“Dream Foundation’s Dream for Veterans program is honored to acknowledge Dreamer John Lechowicz and his caretaker Edward Kurz for their courage and sacrifice during the Vietnam War and thereafter,” says Dream Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer Kisa Heyer. “We are particularly grateful for the collaborative efforts between our longtime Corporate Partner in Dreams, Southwest Airlines and Honor Flight’s Their Last Chance program in bringing comfort and closure to John’s life.”
A memorable moment of Lechowicz and Kurz’s trip is certain to be during the morning of September 10th, when both men will be honored for their service and presented with Vietnam War Commemoration Pins* at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall by James McLaughlin, Honor Flight chairman of the board and a fellow veteran with local photographer Val Proudkii capturing the special moment.
“It is an honor to be a part of fulfilling John’s final Dream,” says McLaughlin. “In the case of veterans living with terminal illnesses, we often hear that the veteran literally wills himself to live long enough to see their memorial. And, having seen their memorial, they receive a sense of closure and relief.”
About Dream Foundation:
Dream Foundation, the only national dream-granting organization for terminally-ill adults, fulfills final Dreams that provide inspiration, comfort and closure at the end of life. With the support of a nationwide network of volunteers, hospices, health care organizations and committed donors, Dream Foundation has given life to more than 25,000 final Dreams over the past two decades and has never turned down a qualified applicant. Dream Foundation does not receive any federal or state funding and relies solely on individual donations and corporate partnerships to fund its programs. The Foundation is proud to maintain Charity Navigator’s four-star rating—its highest—for sound fiscal management ensuring its donors and partners that their investment will be used wisely. For more information, please visit DreamFoundation.org.
*Please note that Dream Foundation is not part of, or endorsed by, the Department of Defense.