Veterans Day at HT2
Nov10

Veterans Day at HT2

A post shared by HT2 (@ht2fortwayne) on Oct 20, 2017 at 9:59am PDT What does it mean to support the troops? It’s an old, tired, overused phrase that has become more of a reaction and a political talking point than any true declaration of support. Politicians across the spectrum will constantly argue over which one of them supports the troops more. People will put a sticker on their car, have it on their license plate or a host of other meaningless gestures. None of those are worth anything if there is no action behind them. So what does action look like? What can the average person do to actually show their support for those who volunteered to defend the country they live in? Nick Ladig, owner of HT2, a cocktail bar in southwest Fort Wayne, is taking matters into his own hands this Saturday with a fundraiser for The Shepherd’s House. “Men and women who go off to serve our country are sacrificing all they have and all they know so that we can do things like open businesses, enjoy ourselves and feel safe,” Ladig said. “It’s only right that we take care of them once they come back to the civilian world.” This Saturday, when HT2 has a limited number of drink and food specials, a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit The Shepherd’s House, a transitional living facility that houses veterans with substance abuse issues. Currently going through a capital fundraising campaign, Shepherd’s House is attempting to secure enough funding to ensure operations beyond 2018. Ladig, who used to work for Hotel Tango Artisan Distillery in Indianapolis, knew that Shepherd’s House was a cause worthy of his support when he started to research local charities to support. “Hotel Tango was started by a combat wounded Marine Corps veteran,” he said, “so it made sense to support these veteran-oriented organizations. There are charities like DAV [Disabled American Veterans] or Wounded Warrior Foundation, but I wanted the money to have a much more local impact.” Here is the lineup of events and activities: Tacos Bravas will be serving up items from their menu from 12 to 4 Special cocktail concoctions will be served all day and night There will be a prize raffle and a donation collection. Shepherd’s House is requesting new socks and underwear and hygiene products for the male veterans they serve. It should be a fun and worthwhile cause. For more information about the Veterans Day Shepherd’s House Fundraiser, click here. Location: 10212 Chestnut Plaza Dr. Fort Wayne, IN 46814   Date/Time: Saturday, November 11, 2017 Noon to Midnight...

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A Look Back at Honor Flight Northeast Indiana
Oct04

A Look Back at Honor Flight Northeast Indiana

Walking through the throngs of people last Wednesday night, one could almost be forgiven for mistaking the modest Fort Wayne airport for the sight of an enthusiastic Fourth of July or Memorial Day parade. Hundreds of people – young, old, and everywhere in between – filled the normally quiet and quaint airport terminal with American flags, banners, signs, flowers, and more. Although it was late on a Wednesday night, those in attendance were in a jovial mood as they smiled, hugged, laughed, and prepared to welcome home the men and women who were returning from our nation’s capital. Confused travelers who were arriving to the airport after their normal, everyday flights would look around and wonder what on Earth they were witnessing. The trip was organized by Honor Flight Northeast Indiana, a chapter of the non-profit Honor Flight Network, which provides aging veterans with the honor and closure that many might not have received, even after many years had passed since their service. In 2016 alone, the network flew over 20,000 veterans to Washington DC. By the end of 2017 that number is expected to surpass 200,000 since its inception in 2005. On Wednesday night, many veterans walked off the planes with a sense of pride and patriotism that one could assume they hadn’t felt in a long time. Watching the ever-dwindling number of proud World War II and Korean War veterans moving through the terminal, many in wheelchairs, I was taken aback by a deep sense of melancholy. Frail old men and women who wanted one more chance to pay respect to those they served with. Travelling to the hallowed ground in our nation’s Capital alongside their “guardian,” a family member or volunteer who accompanied them on their journey. One veteran I spoke with, a Marine who fought in Vietnam in 1966-67, said that he’d heard of the Honor Flight organization before, but nothing could’ve prepared him for what he encountered at the airport. “This is unreal,” he told me. “The public was so against the war when I got back that I never thought I’d see anything like this.” It became apparent throughout the course of our conversation that the emotion of the moment was getting to him. It was okay, I told him. It’s getting to me as well. My generation of veterans, although we don’t like to admit it, is spoiled. We’ve enjoyed general public support both during our time in the military and as veterans, and while that same public’s support for the wars and policies that dictate troop movements and actions will ebb and flow, America’s support for its military has remained consistent...

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