Newnan Deputy Police Chief and Coweta-Fayette EMC Employee Escort WWII Veterans to Washington
In recognition of those willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, Coweta-Fayette Trust, Inc., Board Director Rodney Riggs – also Newnan Deputy Police Chief – and EMC technician Brad Maddox recently volunteered to help some of Georgia’s “Greatest Generation” veterans make the flight of a lifetime to see the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Through Honor Flight Fayette Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization created to provide WWII vets the opportunity to see their memorial, the EMC’s Operation Round-Up program was able to assist in fulfilling the dreams of over 70 former servicemen from the area.
Maddox and Riggs, both veterans themselves, accompanied the Honor Flight participants as “guardians” – those responsible for veterans’ flight preparations, personal safety and travel arrangements. According to the Honor Flight Network, all guardians go through training sessions due to the significant role they play in the journey.
And what a journey it is. With the United States losing approximately 1,000 World War II veterans each day, time is of the essence: they may never gaze upon the national memorial dedicated to their courage and valor.
Although the monument was completed in 2004, many men and women have not been able to visit because of advanced age or other difficulties. Making the trip possible for veterans is one way the Honor Flight Network and Operation Round-Up hope to give back, show respect and express gratitude.
“These veterans – our nation’s heroes – deserve the chance to reflect before a memorial built in honor of their bravery and patriotism,” said Coweta-Fayette CEO Anthony “Tony” Sinclair. “After everything they have done for our country, this trip is the least we can do for them.”
After the memorable flight, Maddox and Riggs were recognized for their efforts during a June 23 appreciation reception at the Fayette Senior Services Center.
The National World War II Memorial, opened in 2004 on the National Mall and flanked by the Washington Monument to the east and the Lincoln Memorial to the west, stands as a fitting tribute to America’s armed forces. Built to inspire future generations, the site honors 16 million who served, over 400,000 who died and the millions who supported from home.
The Operation Round-Up Trust funded several other projects over the past few months, including $4,000 to Summit Family/Fayette Outdoor YMCA, $1,500 to Prevent Child Abuse Coweta, $4,700 to Certified Literate Is Coweta’s Key (CLICK), $5,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Newnan, over $1,000 for Georgia Lions’ Camp for the Blind, Inc., and $5,700 to Community Welcome House in Newnan.
Operation Round-Up is a Coweta-Fayette EMC program that contributes more than $250,000 each year to worthy groups in the EMC service area. These awards are made possible by voluntary contributions from cooperative members whose monthly electric bills are “rounded up” to the nearest dollar. The difference between what is actually owed and the next highest dollar is placed in an interest-bearing account, and this money is managed through a separate board of directors, the Coweta-Fayette EMC Trust.
Coweta-Fayette EMC is a consumer-owned cooperative providing electricity and related services to over 74,000 member accounts in Coweta, Fayette, Heard, South Fulton, Clayton, Spalding, Troup and Meriwether Counties.