SPOKANE-- A Chewelah, Washington boy is making sure every World War II veteran gets a chance to take a trip on the Inland Northwest Honor Flight. The program flies veterans to Washington, D.C. so they can see the memorials built in their honor. Justin Peterson, 12, has already raised more than $45,000 for Honor Flight.
Justin was in the 4th grade and just 9-years-old when he started fundraising. He first called organizer Tony Lamana.
"A squeaky little voice was on the other end, January 2010, I want to raise money for Honor Flight, here's my mom," Lamana recalls.
Justin wanted to collect enough to send just on veteran to Washington, D.C. He set up a change drive in Chewelah. His parents planned to pitch in if the funds did not come through.
"We were nervous, how are we going to afford this?" wondered Justin's mom Elizabeth. "But we have to do this. Before we blinked, it was already $3,000 and running."
From there, he has been a man on a mission to raise money. On Friday, he was awarded a $5,000 check for the charity and more on the way.
"The money alone is amazing. But that someone his age could be concerned with video games, he's raising money for these incredible people," said Lamana.
Justin is young but he is determined.
"I'm hoping to get $50,000 by 8th grade," said Justin. "My new goal is $100,000 before I graduate high school."
The public is invited to the Spokane International Airport when 31 veterans return home Sunday. The land around 4:30 p.m.