American Legion Post 681, West Chester, Ohio has initiated an alliance with the private Cincinnati Railway Company to take up to 16 local senior-aged military veterans from WWII, Korea, or Vietnam on a nostalgic train trip to Washington DC. “There are few more worthwhile activities to support, than honoring and acknowledging our senior-aged veteran's sacrifices and devotion to country in providing and securing this nation's freedom and way of life,” says Chuck Miller, Lt. Col., USAF (Ret) and 1st Vice Commander of American Legion Post 681. “This initial Tribute Train will do this while providing a nostalgic trip related to a bygone era.”
The trip has been dubbed the “Vet’s Tribute Train”, to honor these veteran’s and their past service to their nation. Travel will be provided in a fully restored 1950s era, luxury dome sleeper lounge and an accompanying full sleeping car, where the veterans and escorts will enjoy 40-hours in the nation’s capital, plus will enjoy the camaraderie of other “service members” on the excursion scheduled for April 4-8.
Miller, worked closely with Brian Collins, owner of the Cincinnati Railway Company, and others interested in helping veterans to travel and see their Memorials. Veterans will enjoy the amenities provided by two private railcars, The Observatory and the Birch Grove, as the Amtrak Cardinal bound for the Cherry Blossom Festival winds through the breath-taking back-woods foothills, river gorges, and valleys of the Blue Ridge and Alleghany mountains of Virginia, West Virginia, and northern Kentucky, in the style of times gone by. During their time in DC, the veterans will be guided through the WWII, Korean, Vietnam, Iwo Jima, and Air Force Memorials with a visit to Arlington National Cemetery and the Changing of the Guards.
Fund raising to support the Vet’s Tribute Train Project is currently underway.
The Cincinnati Railway Company has donated much of the cost of the train transportation with the remainder of the expenses for the trip and for the touring in DC to be covered by fundraising by Post 681. A number companies and organizations supporting this effort include: EnterTrainment Junction, West Chester; The Cincinnati Chapter of the Air Force Association; The US Navy "CV12 Hornet Association"; National Railway Historical Association (Cincinnati Chapter), and the Cincinnati Rail Road Club.
Post 681 is looking for help needed in this patriotic and very worthwhile venture. For local companies and organizations, or just patriotic citizens who would like to contribute, you can go to the website at www.post681.org to get more info, and download the “Donor Form” and mail your contribution check to: American Legion Post 681, PO Box 637, West Chester,OH 45071. Checks should be made out to: American Legion Post 681 Vet’s Tribute Train.
It will cost $1300 to sponsor one veteran for the complete 4-day excursion, including all meals, lodgings, tours, and transportation -- or make a fractional donation, to fit your budget. “This first Tribute Train may be the beginning of a new tradition for senior vets in the Cincinnati area, said Miller. “Our fund raising must be completed by March 10 to ensure the success of this project and make this a lasting once-in-a-lifetime trip acknowledging the sacrifice and service of these “greatest generation” veterans for their country.”