I attended the showing of Honor Flight: One Last Mission on May 16 at the Maumee Indoor Theater, sponsored by Hospice of Northwest Ohio and the Toledo Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic. In honor of Memorial Day, I hope people consider supporting this mission, which transports World War II veterans to Washington to the National World War II Memorial for a day.
These veterans are passing on at an estimated 1,000 a day, so time is of the essence.
I write this in memory of my father, World War II veteran Howard M. Smith, who died in 1975, and my uncle, Korean War veteran A. Roberts Dykeman, who died in 2004.
Quarterback makes a handoff
On May 18, at the “Dancing with the Military Stars” veterans benefit event at the Stranahan Great Hall, Bruce Gradkowski, who was one of the guest celebrity dancers, donated for auction an autographed jersey (“Spring flings get toes tapping,” May 9).
It was his first jersey as an National Football League player. The University of Toledo alumnus is a quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
One of the bidders was Matthew Drake, a wounded soldier from Sylvania. Mr. Drake, my grandson, was also a speaker at the event.
During the auction, Mr. Gradkowski bid $1,000. He won. The master of ceremonies thought that he wanted to retain his jersey. Not so. Instead, Mr. Gradkowski presented the jersey to my grandson.
Many thanks to Mr. Gradkowski — football player, restaurateur, and generous man.
Park Forest Drive
Vietnam vet gives thanks for attention
Thanks to The Blade for recognizing and publishing stories of Vietnam-era veterans (“It may be late, but Viet vets thanked,” Readers’ Forum, April 21).
As a Vietnam-era veteran who was drafted, I am thankful for the dedication of the thousands of men and women who served.
On Memorial Day, may we all say a prayer for those who gave their lives and for those whose mental and physical health was affected by their service.
The war touched all of us in different ways. It is nice to see recognition and appreciation.
Bicyclists safe in ride for safety
Thanks to police officers from Toledo, Ottawa Hills, and the University of Toledo, and other safety professionals who provided a safe bicycle riding route while cyclists took part in the Toledo Ride for Silence (“Cyclists ride, remind others to ‘share the road’; Toledo Ride of Silence remembers bikers killed, injured on roadways,” May 15). It was a great turnout.