Students raise more than $20,000 to send Utah veterans on Honor Flight

Posted at 4:59 PM, Dec 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-19 18:59:09-05

RIVERTON, Utah -- Students at Oquirrh Middle School have been raising funds for months, and on Friday they surprised several World War II veterans with a free trip to Washington D.C.

Each of the veterans were given an all-expense paid trip to the National War Memorial in Washington D.C. as part of the Utah Honor Flight Program. The student body spent months raising the funds, and they collected  $22,500.14 for the project.

"After 62 years, to have somebody speak up and put out the effort to do these kinds of things that these kids have done, really means a lot to me and I'm sure it means a lot to the other veterans," said Richard Gibson, one of the veterans at the assembly.

Jake Sexton is a 7th-grade student at the school, and he said he was glad to be part of the effort.

"It makes me feel really good and special that we can see our veterans be appreciated because they donated their lives so we can give back," he said.

The assembly also featured music and a demonstration of military police dogs in action. Some teachers shaved their heads as a show of support, and another teacher was taped to a post for some time.

About 18 veterans will make the trip as a result of the school's efforts.

FOX 13 News' Dave Nemeth has more on this story, see the video above for his report.