Elementary Students Make WWII POW’s Dream Come True

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(Lakeland, TN) Some elementary students are sending a World War II veteran back to the place where served his country and was a prisoner of war.

Students at Lakeland and Arlington Elementary Schools spent weeks raising more than $6,300 dollars to pay for the 91-year-old's trip back to Europe.

"In my family when you turn nine everyone gets birthday money. I figured why not give some of my birthday money to Mr. Hawkins," said Arlington Student Cullan Venceil.

Venceil donated $150 of his own money.

Bill Hawkins spent five months in a POW camp in Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge.

Thursday, he gave student's a first-hand account of the war.

"I was a guest  of Hitler for five months during WWII," said Hawkins.

He also thanked them for their gift.

"I would jut like to go back to the places I fought for," said Hawkins.

The students found Hawkins through a senior wish organization called Forever Young.

Forever Young is taking Hawkins and ten other WWII Veterans to Normandy and Belgium later this month.

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