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WCTC to host Stars and Stripes Honor Flight's Hearts and Honor event Feb. 13

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PEWAUKEE, Wis. (Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021) – Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) will host a special Valentine’s drive-through event on Saturday, Feb. 13, to honor service members who were planning to or who have taken part in a Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.

The Stars and Stripes Honor Flight organization provides veterans with a life-changing trip to Washington, D.C., to visit the memorials and experience a full day of honor and thanks. Because of the pandemic, however, the Honor Flight Network had to suspend flights from all parts of the country from March 2020 through June 30 of this year -- and possibly longer. As such, the organization has gotten creative to help veterans stay connected and be recognized, said Karyn Roelke, president of Stars and Stripes Honor Flight Wisconsin.

“We have sought to honor and reach out to our local veterans in a variety of safe and alternative ways, to reassure them that their service and sacrifices are not forgotten during this time of postponement,” she said.

The Hearts and Honor drive-through event will take place on WCTC’s main Pewaukee campus from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, near Building W. Volunteers, who will be wearing face masks and following COVID-19 safety precautions, will be on hand to direct traffic and assist with questions.

More than 300 veterans, including those who served in WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, are expected to attend the event. They will remain safely in their vehicles while family, friends and other spectators stop out at the WCTC campus to share their gratitude and cheer them on at the outdoor, socially distanced celebration.

Veterans will receive Valentine’s gifts courtesy of local businesses, including Sendik’s, MKEing Coffee and Burke Candy, along with heartfelt, handmade Valentine cards from local elementary school children.

Hearts and Honor is also a way for those who have already taken an honor flight to stay involved, Roelke said, since many honor flight alumni have traditionally welcomed back other veterans from subsequent flights.

“Since [they] aren’t able to continue participating as a part of the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight family right now, the idea behind Hearts and Honor was to welcome back our alumni veterans, thank them again, and safely relieve a bit of loneliness and isolation,” she said.

For details about Stars and Stripes Honor Flight Wisconsin, visit

About Waukesha County Technical College

Waukesha County Technical College, the leader in workforce development, prepares learners for success within the region and global economy. The College offers more than 150 areas of study including associate degree, technical diploma, apprenticeship and short-term certificate programs. Customized training for employers is also available. To learn more, visit