CARMEL, N.Y. – The son of a late World War II veteran recently carried out his father’s wishes by donating his van to the Putnam County Veterans Service Agency.
Thomas Hearn, the son of former Somers resident John W. “Jack” Hearn, gave the keys of his father’s 2007 Honda Odyssey to Karl Rohde, director of the county’s Veterans Service Agency.
County Executive MaryEllen Odell, who has accompanied several World War II veterans on Honor Flights to Washington D.C., was also present at the event.
“I have encountered this kind of thoughtfulness from so many of our World War II veterans,” Odell said in a press release.
“They are such wonderful examples for the rest of us, always looking to see how they can help another veteran.”
“It is indeed an honor for us to accept Jack Hearn’s gracious donation.”
Jack Hearn, who served in the U.S. Navy, died in October at age 87.
Thomas Hearn, who flew in from Maryland to fulfill his father’s wishes, said this father was grateful for all the help he received from the New York State Department of Veterans Affairs.
While living in Somers, Jack Hearn became close friends with Carmel residents Steven Pirolo, Dee Seftner, and Christine Venezia.
“Donating the van to Putnam County veterans is a way to recognize their friendship and support,” Thomas Hearn said in a press release.
The van was adapted to transport a passenger in a wheelchair, as Jack Hearn suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease in the latter years of his life.
“We are so grateful to Jack and Thomas Hearn for this very thoughtful gesture,” Rohde said in a press release.
“While we already have a bus that can easily carry about 15 veterans, it will be nice to have a smaller, more economical vehicle for those times we only need to transport one or two wheelchair-bound veterans.”