On a day filled with patriotic music, surprises and emotions, the Madera Rotary Club honored local veteran Ted Sanderson by awarding him an Honor Flight to Washington D.C. The club is holding a raffle of a World War II M-1 Garand Rifle to raise funds to send the veteran and a guardian on the flight.
A standing room only crowd of Rotarians, guests and local veterans attended the regular meeting held Tuesday at Madera Municipal Golf Course. After a viewing of the classic rifle that General George Patton said “is the greatest battle implement ever devised,” club president Ren Hallett introduced Paul Loeffler of the Honor Flight project.
Loeffler, who is also a sportscaster and known as “the voice of the Bulldogs,” detailed the history and agenda of the Honor Flight project. He also said veterans will be honored at a dinner and see the World War II Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery and other sites while in Washington, D.C. In addition, local congressman have offered to meet the veterans and give them a personal tour of the Capitol.
Loeffler then stepped from the podium, microphone in hand, and approached Sanderson, a World War II veteran of a glider-infantry battalion in the battles across Europe. The crowd stood as Loeffler announced the choice of Sanderson as the local club’s first Honor Flight recipient. While the veteran, with the help of a cane, slowly rose to his feet, applause filled the room, ladies wiped their eyes and men smiled...