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Spaghetti Sends Vets Back East

Have some pasta and honor a soldier: The nonprofit Honor Flight of Oregon is putting on an “all-you-can-eat spaghetti feed” Sunday to raise money to send World War II veterans from Lane, Lincoln, Benton and Linn counties to see war memorials in Washington, D.C., before the soldiers pass on. In 2011, the average age of a WWII vet was 92. 

About 90 veterans are on the list to take the trip this year, mostly from the Eugene/Springfield area, according to Ron Shmaedick, a volunteer for South Willamette Valley Honor Flight. The first trip will take place Oct. 11. The trip takes four days, and the vets will visit the WWII Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Marine Corps (Iwo Jima) Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknowns, as well as other veterans’ memorials. 

Shmaedick says that the veterans who have attended previous trips were anywhere from 85 into their late 90s. “This is a trip that means so much to these men, and is usually one of the last trips they ever get to take,” he says. 

The spaghetti feed is 1 pm to 6 pm Sunday, Aug. 5, at the Vet’s Club, 1626 Willamette St., $10, $5 for children 6 and under. For those not able to attend the spaghetti feed who want to help, donations made out to Honor Flights can be sent to 37833 Shenandoah Loop, Springfield 97478 or go to http://honorflightoforegon.org for more information.