It’s a great week to celebrate those serving our country. We normally round-up our feel-good (and do-gooder) stories of the last seven days, but this week we're focusing specifically on our veterans as a way to celebrate the 4th. Prepare to have your heart warmed.
War vet takes his high school sweetheart to prom at age 89, gets crowned Senior Prom King
Between finding a date and the perfect dress, prom is a pretty important event for high schoolers—whether the memories that come along with it are good or bad.
For Ralph Wozniak of Riverdale, Florida, the big dance wasn’t an option. Even though he’s been married to his high school sweatheart, LaVerne, for 66 years he never got the chance to ask her to prom, ABC affiliate WFTS reports.
Wozniak was deployed overseas during World War II and again in the Korean War, causing him to miss both of his opportunities to go to the dance. More than six decades later, the couple got their chance to attend Prom for the first time, thanks to the Hillsborough County Aging Services who hosted a Senior Prom.
To top it off, Ralph’s name was picked out of a hat and he was named the prom king.
“I got out of my line and gave him a kiss because I said, ‘That's my husband, that's the king,’” LaVerne told WFTS.
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The amazing group caring for pets when they're military parents are deployed
The hardest part about military service has to be leaving your loved ones behind, furry friends included. Many service members have to face finding a new caretaker for their pets when they're deployed.
When Alisa Johnson and her husband Shawn were both deployed and in need of a home for their dog, JD, they realized just how many dual-military families face this same problem. To help, they founded Dogs on Deployment, a non-profit that helps those serving in the military to find a safe home for their pets while they are serving their country.
The service has helped over 800 pets since 2011—cats, birds, ferrets and even a snake named Pedro included. "It can be stressful if you don't have anyone to care for your pet when you have an upcoming service commitment," Johnson told the Huffington Post. "So to be able to assist them and give them that peace of mind is really heartwarming."
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The war vet on a cross-country hug tour
An Iraq War veteran is trekking across the country—all in order to hug total strangers.
Ian Michael is the founder of the Human Hug Project, a mission that takes him across the country to share an embrace with veterans who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Cooke told ABC affiliate RTV6 that believes love is the best way to cope with his illness. “A hug is something that I was so disconnected from for so many years that it’s kind of my new medicine. It starts to take the sharp pain from those memories and instead it replaces that with a sense of brotherhood, appreciation and it gives you hope.”
Now #GiveThem20 to say thank you
If you’re looking for a way to give thanks to Vets for their service, check out the #GiveThem20 challenge. Here’s how it works: film yourself doing 20 push-ups or sit ups dedicated to veterans. Then share the video on social media using the hashtag #GiveThem20 while nominating two of your friends to do the same. Just don't copy Stephen Colbert.