Local veteran fundraising to send other vets to Washington D.C.

Local News

FREEPORT, Ill. (WTVO) — One local veteran started a fundraiser to help send veterans to D.C. with the organization VetsRoll.

Earlier this year, 93-year-old Korean War Veteran, Paul Holz, spent four days in Washington D.C., and during those four days he was able to visit the Korean War Veteran’s Memorial.

“Your emotions, they’re turned on. As we left Beloit, people were waving, and hollering, and crying. The flags were flying,” Holz said.

It was possible thanks to VetsRoll. Since 2010, the non-profit plans an annual bus trip to bring veterans to the Nation’s Capitol.

“We got to DC, and they took us on a tour in downtown DC,” Holz said. “And we were the VIP’s for that day.”

Holz says when he visited the Korean War Veteran’s Memorial he was overwhelmed with emotion.

“I cried a little bit,” Holz said.

When they returned home, Holz and other veterans on the bus were greeted by a huge crowd of people in Beloit. Among those in the crowd was his daughter, Jean Holz Wurtzel.

“He had told me that, when he came home from Korea, there was never the thank you, the parade, like some other wars,” Holz Wurtzel said.

He says this experience inspire him to help others make the trip.

“I went to see pastor and Julie, the head of the ministries here, and I said, “I’ve got an idea,” Holz said.

That idea was a meal which also serves as a fundraiser for other vets to be a part of VetsRoll.

It was held at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Freeport.

People could bid to take home a dessert, made by Holz himself, who his daughter says is known as the pie guy.

“He just felt that this was a very worthwhile cause,” Holz Wurtzel said.

Holz says on November 12th, the Culver’s Restaurant in Freeport will donate a portion of their proceeds to VetsRoll.

In total the non-profit has transported almost 2,000 veterans to Washington D.C.

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