Tomahawk’s VFW Post 2687 presents donations to Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation, Honor Flight
By Jalen Maki
Tomahawk Leader Co-Editor
TOMAHAWK – Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2687 in Tomahawk presented donations to the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation (WWIAF) and the Never Forgotten Honor Flight (NFHF) at the VFW Hall, 203 S. 4th St., on Wednesday, Nov. 20. The funds were raised by Post 2687, area businesses and the Tomahawk community.
The funds donated the WWIAF will go towards providing Purple Heart recipients from around the country the opportunity to hunt, fish and enjoy the scenic Northwoods at Camp Hackett, a 410-acre property in the Town of Emery near Phillips.
The NFHF will use the funds it received to fly veterans to Washington, D.C., so they can see the monuments built in their honor.
Bob Bolz, Northwoods Coordinator of the WWIAF, accepted the $2,000 donation. Bolz is also the coordinator of Camp Hackett.
Camp Hackett was started in 2007 by John McDaniel, a retired U.S. Army Ranger and Special Operations veteran. Along with being able to experience deer hunting in northern Wisconsin, veterans at the camp are also taken on guided grouse and goose hunts and guided musky fishing trips.
Bolz, an Army veteran, noted Post 2687’s support of Camp Hackett, adding that the money raised in the area, including donations from Post 2687 and the Tomahawk community, pays for the veterans’ airfare, hunting and fishing licenses, food and more during their visit to the Northwoods.
“It stays local. A lot of people step up to the plate,” Bolz said.
Bolz stated he’s been involved with Camp Hackett for 11 years.
“I wouldn’t give it up,” he added.
Jim Campbell, co-founder and Vice President of Marketing of the Never Forgotten Honor Flight, accepted a $10,000 check that will help the program continue to provide veterans with the opportunity to visit the nation’s capitol.
The NFHF has flown a total of 3,576 World War II, Korea and Vietnam-era veterans on 38 missions to Washington, D.C., since the first flight took place on April 27, 2010.
Along with donations of various sizes from the Tomahawk community, contributions included a $4,000 donation from Sew Pieceful in Tomahawk, a $1,000 donation from Incredible Bank in Tomahawk, $500 from Tomahawk Middle School, raised during a penny drive, and $50 monthly donations from The Well church in Tomahawk (formerly Prince of Peace), stated Bill Burcalow of Post 2687.
“We’ve had a very generous community supporting the NFHF,” Burcalow added.
Campbell stated that, to date, Post 2687 has raised enough money to send 135 veterans on the Honor Flight.
“That’s over a plane full. We take 110 veterans on the plane,” he explained. “95 veterans have flown from the City of Tomahawk, and there are 36 on the wait list. (Post 2687’s donations) have paid for all of them, when you look at it from that perspective, because it costs $500 to send a veteran (on the flight.)”
Campbell stated that Post 2687 is the number one VFW Post in 13 counties in terms of donations to the flight, and Tomahawk Middle School is the top middle school in those counties.
“There are 20 more veterans who will be able to go (on the flight) because of the generosity of this community and this VFW,” Campbell said.