CLARKESVILLE - While Monday officially was Veterans Day, students at North Habersham Middle School want their veteran salute to continue throughout the school year.
The NHMS Junior Beta Club is raising money to send World War II veterans who haven't been to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
"My father was a World War II vet - he was in the Navy," said Junior Beta Club Sponsor Linda Camp.
"Being involved with the Veterans Day here at North, you just can't help but love these people and what they've done for our country."
Hayley Hulsey, a Junior Beta Club member who announced the launch of the fundraiser during this week's Veterans Day ceremony at the school, said it means a lot to her to be involved.
"I was excited to do it because it's giving a chance for the World War II vets - and there are not many of them left - to go somewhere that they can see that their friends have not been forgotten, and that it means a lot what they have done and they have made our country America," Hulsey said.
Camp explained how she came to propose the project to her students.
"Seeing the film about Honor Flight, I just thought it would be a wonderful thing for our students to do to try to send World War II veterans from Habersham County or from northeast Georgia - to get them on some flights," Camp said. "I've been in touch with the Conyers Hub and they have flights going out in April and May and next September. The April flight is about full, they said."
Harvey Adams, 86, of Clarkesville, entered World War II at age 14, after lying about his age.
"I was still 14 when I was in the Southwest Pacific," Adams said. "I was in 14 invasions, and I was in the last invasion of World War II."
Adams has visited the World War II Monument, and has been involved with the Habersham County Killed in Action Monument in Clarkesville since its inception.
Adams acknowledges WWII veterans are becoming fewer and fewer each day, and said a visit to the World War II Monument is an educational trip for anyone of any age.
"It costs $400 to send a veteran, and I would love to send as many as we could," Camp said.
Camp said water bottles have been placed in each classroom, where students can donate their change to the project. Additionally, the club hopes to place collection boxes at businesses in the county.
Adams said he is touched by the students' fundraising effort.
"It's hard to believe that they're doing what they're doing here today," Adams said. "Like I told my wife this morning, if those kids over there think enough about us to put on an honor program and we don't go, we're missing the boat."
Membership in Junior Beta Club is by invitation to eligible seventh- and eighth-grade students.
Students must have maintained a 95 academic average in the previous year.
To host a collection box, to make a donation, or to learn more about supporting Honor Flight, contact Camp at North Habersham Middle School at (706) 754-2915.