REALTOR® Gary LeClaire was nominated for SPAAR’s Better Communities Award for his work with Honor Flight Twin Cities

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REALTOR® Gary LeClaire was nominated for SPAAR’s Better Communities Award for his work with Honor Flight Twin Cities

Honor Flight Twin Cities schedules semi-annual flights for World War II and Korean War veterans to visit Washington, D.C.  These chartered flights are provided at no cost to the veterans.  Veterans fly to Reagan Airport, where they are met with an honor guard of fire trucks.  The veterans visit the WWII War Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, as a time to visit and reflect.  Since these veterans are older, it is a rare, possibly final, opportunity for them to visit Washington, meet with other veterans, and receive a formal communication of gratitude and support for their military service.  (Please see video at http://honorflighttwincities.org/HFTCpictures.html)  Honor Flight reminds these veterans they are not forgotten.

Gary LeClaire is a Vietnam veteran.  His personal mission is to recognize and honor sacrifices made by veterans. He has served as a board member of Minnesota Vietnam Veterans Charity since 2004.  He has volunteered with and made personal contributions exceeding $15,000.00 to the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV).  MACV provides comprehensive program and supportive services to homeless veterans in three primary focus areas: housing, employment and civil legal concerns.

Yet there is one program especially close to his heart—Honor Flight Twin Cities, which is part of the national Honor Flight network.  In the Twin Cities, Honor Flight is a primary program coordinated by nonprofit Minnesota Vietnam Veterans Charity.  Gary is one of five volunteers who fundraise and coordinate all of the details involved in every flight.  Since January, 2015, Gary has helped to raise nearly $300,000.00.  (Each flight can cost upwards of $100,000.00, including chartering the jet, meals and accommodations for the guests.)

Gary has made the community a better place by helping to recognize the sacrifice of military veterans.  Since January 2015, he has contributed more than 500 hours to assisting and honoring veterans.  Gary’s efforts have personally impacted more than 240 veterans.  He has personally contributed over $5,000.00 and has been involved in raising nearly $300,000.00 for supportive programming for veterans and for Honor Flights to recognize veterans in a unique and memorable way.

In addition to volunteering and fundraising, Gary communicates the importance of remembering veterans’ service and sacrifice.  He leads by example.  Gary said that he tells people about Honor Flight every chance he can.  Gary has personally worked to show veterans their sacrifices are important, respected and honoured.

Gary LeClaire is a REALTOR® with Edina Realty.

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