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ABC7 salutes: Honoring Our Fallen, military family support group, hopes to get bigger vans for transport

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LOS ANGELES (KABC) —

Laura Herzog’s Honoring Our Fallen charity has been doing lots of positive things for families who have lost loved ones serving in the military.

One of its bigger triumphs was getting a memorial wall built at Rosie The Riveter Park in Long Beach. The planning and creation were a labor of love for Herzog, a Garden Grove resident.

The main part of the charity, however, is helping families with logistics when it’s time to lay their fallen soldiers to rest. And the group has found that it needs some new wheels.

“We are trying to raise the amount of money that we need to purchase a 15-passenger van. Or maybe two if we raise enough money,” Herzog said.

Something full-size like a Ford Transit, or Nissan NV. The group has a donated Toyota Sienna minivan for transporting families to and from airports and cemeteries, but it’s often too small for the job.

“We’ve had to borrow vans, and borrow extra vans, and rent extra ones. So we felt it was time to reach out to the community,” Herzog said.

Over the years, she’s reached out to many military families whose loved ones have paid the ultimate sacrifice. And many of them in turn give right back.

“It’s my honor to support Honoring Our Fallen to help her get this van. I mean, I rode in one of these vans, so I personally know what it feels like and can see what the need is,” said Lisa Weidmann, whose son was killed while serving.
A basic 15-passenger van starts at about $35,000.

And while Honoring Our Fallen always wants to help in the immediate time of need, the permanent memorial in Long Beach it constructed continues to let families know that their lost loved ones are not forgotten.

“Somebody left this here in honor of my son, Tommy MacPherson,” said Didi MacPherson who found a small American flag posted near her son’s name on the memorial wall. “It says, ‘You are never forgotten Tommy Mac,’ along with RLTW, which stands for Rangers Lead The Way.”

If you’d like to help with the purchase of a new van, or in any way you can, Herzog’s organization would love to hear from you. Their web site is www.honoringourfallen.org.

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