'Getting Heroes Home': Le Claire based group helps service-members travel home

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LE CLAIRE, Iowa (KWQC) - A Le Claire based non-profit organization, called Getting Heroes Home, has a goal of helping servicemen and women get home during important life events.

The non-profit organization, 'Getting Heroes Home' was started in Oct. 2018.

The cost of flying home for a funeral, family emergency, the holidays, or other life events might not be possible for some people serving overseas. The group, Getting Heroes Home, provides travel arrangements for service-members at no cost to them.

"A guy got sent home from Honduras. He's getting sent home in a couple days. To Montana. He's going to be there for his kid's first birthday. He hasn't seen her since she was about four months old," Brandon Nichols, one of the co-founders, said about a service-member they recently helped.

Getting Heroes Home started last October. The two co-founders spoke with other ex-military men and women and realized a lot of them had similar stories about missing out on events at home because of the cost to get home.

"We all had stories and different events when we chose to just not go home because of cost or how easy it was going to be. Putting all of the stories together we were like, let's get behind this. And we kicked it off," Nichols said.

"We started looking at a couple different organizations that we could sponsor. Donate money to to help get people home for the holidays. After our research we couldn't really find anything so we just decided to do it ourself," Casey Maust, the other founder of Getting Heroes Home, said.

A year after creating the organization, they have already helped fiver people get home, with more on the way.

"The first person we helped was a Navy Sailer stationed in San Diego. His niece got put on hospice. So we were able to fly him home to be with her," Nichols said.

"We have five more lined up for the holidays. For this Christmas time. The whole goal of the organization was this first year to send at least ten people home for Christmas. We got five lined up and we're just looking for another five to send home," Maust said.

While serving in the military can be hard at times, the group helps take away the financial burden of being able to attend family events.

"We were both service-members. Junior service-members. So we understand the struggle of missing holidays. Missing weddings. Special occasions. So, we just wanted to provide an opportunity for people to travel and go to those things," Maust said.

They received their first application from someone from the Quad Cities Area Thursday morning.

For more information on Getting Heroes Home, click here.