At 95, WWII Veteran Robert Almquist of Wisconsin Rapids still likes to recall stories of his time serving aboard the USS Oakland in the South Pacific and 30 years in the U.S. Naval Reserve.
To celebrate that service, his family is working to send him on the “trip of a lifetime” to visit the ship mast, donated to the City of Oakland in 2002 and displayed at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park. A plaque commemorating his service also resides in San Diego. Family said Almquist recently lost his wife of 67 years and would like to take the opportunity to reflect on his time as a sailor during this meaningful trip.
The concept is similar to Never Forgotten Honor Flights taken to Washington D.C., except this trip will send Almquist to the opposite coast. Separately, about ten years ago he was able to travel to D.C. for a reunion of his former crew members.
The GoFundMe campaign has raised $715 toward its $2,500 goal as of Wednesday morning to send him and a few accompanying family members on a flight to California. One anonymous donor even offered some Frequent Flyer miles toward the cause.
Almquist has an entire room devoted to his military service and likes to reminisce to family members, who say they can’t think of a more deserving person to go on the trip than him. They hope to take the trip before the end of the year.
Visit www.gofundme.com/sendbobtocalifornia to view the campaign and make a donation toward the trip.