Military Embedded Systems

GIVING BACK: Forever Young Veterans


July 22, 2022

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

GIVING BACK: Forever Young Veterans

Each issue, the editorial staff of Military Embedded Systems will highlight a different charitable organization that benefits the military, veterans, and their families. We are honored to cover the technology that protects those who protect us every day.

This issue, we are highlighting Forever Young Veterans, a nonprofit organization that seeks to honor military veterans 65 years and older by granting their unfulfilled wishes, returning them to the places where they fought, and bringing them the happiness, healing, and hope they need and deserve.

Co-founder Diane Hight started Forever Young Veterans in 2006 with her husband, Greg, to remember her father, who had served in the Coast Guard and U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean War. He returned from his service with many problems, including alcoholism. Diane describes life with her father as difficult for the family. For years, Diane believed her father had a character problem; but she came to realize that he was trying to bury the emotional wounds and combat stress he suffered during the war.

The Hights founded Forever Young initially as a way to grant wishes for seniors and bring joy to their lives, but they soon realized the veterans they were serving so often sought to find peace and closure from their time in the service. It was then the Hights’ mission shifted exclusively to veterans.

Since its founding, Forever Young Veterans has honored more than 2,500 veterans, taking many of them back on what they call “Trips of Honor” to the places where they fought, in addition to memorials in Washington, D.C. Moreover, it has granted senior veterans more than 300 “Wishes of Honor,” during which the veterans do something they’ve always dreamed of: past wishes include throwing out the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game, taking a final flight in a B-17, or returning to their home for final reunions with family and friends.

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