Academy Charter School teacher Stacy Molina is teaching her students about patriotism and giving back to the community. Her students in Palmer listened. The class just donated $8,000 to the Last Frontier Honor Flight group.

Honor Flight sends veterans to Washington D.C. to tour war memorials at no cost to them. Alaska Airlines has been covering the costs of airline tickets. But the remaining expenses are covered by donations.

Ron Travis with the Last Frontier Honor Flight says the big donation from students will pay to send five veterans to D.C.

"That's why we continue to fly. If it wasn't for this, it wouldn't happen," said Travis.

Travis and other Honor Flight veterans were invited to Academy Charter for the check presentation. The students applied for and received the $8,000 grant through the Matanuska Electric Association Charity Foundation. Chair David Dahms was on hand to pass the check to Ron Travis.

Students Richard Washer, Carolyn Deal, Madeline Ortiz and Dillan Vierra all spoke in class to thank the veterans.

 

"These veterans risk everything so that we can be safe; we can live normal lives. And that flag over there is our flag. Not some other country. And that means a lot to me," said Deal.

"The Last Frontier Honor Flight is important to me because as an American we share the belief that every veteran who risks their life for freedom deserves to be honored," said Ortiz.

"I support Honor Flight and our veterans in any way possible," said Washer.

"We have the chance to let the veterans know they are not forgotten," said Vierra.

Palmer Korean War veteran James Clark listened to students in the class. He attended an Honor Flight trip to D.C. in 2017.

"That flight was the greatest thing that's happened to me and I shed some ghosts that follow me for a lot of years," Clark said.

He choked up when listening to students speaking.

"You really don't know what it means to us," said Clark with tears in his eyes.

"The kids and everyone in here has just been perfect," said Palmer Korean War era veteran Norman Bean. He also has been on a Last Frontier Honor Flight trip.

The donation may not be the end of fundraising for students.

"But we're not done. We all want to raise more. Maybe try to pay for the whole thing," said Vierra.

Ron Travis says it costs about $60,000 to send a full group of vets.

Students may also have been listening when their teacher Stacy Molina told them to "dream bigger."

"The sky's our limit," said Vierra.

Copyright KTVA 2018. All rights reserved.

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