As Cub Scouts busily took orders, served drinks and bussed tables at Pizza Hut, the boys gathered enough money to send one veteran to Washington, D.C. on the Great River Honor Flight.

As Cub Scouts busily took orders, served drinks and bussed tables at Pizza Hut, the boys gathered enough money to send one veteran to Washington, D.C. on the Great River Honor Flight.

Cub Scout Pack 101 members raised $400 to present to board member Vern Bastian and Great River Honor Flight Chairman Carlos Fernandez. During the meeting at the POPS Club on Tuesday, Oct. 20, the Scouts demonstrated respect for country and veterans and learned about the Honor Flight Program.

As the Cub Scouts displayed flags at the front of the hall, Cubmaster Matt Lawson asked the boys why it is important never to let the American flag drop.

“Because it’s disrespectful to our country,” a Scout said.

Lawson asked the Cub Scouts why they show respect to the American flag.

“Because it’s the symbol of our country,” a fellow Scout said.

The Scouts eagerly shared why they respect our veterans.

“We honor them because they fought for our country, and it would be disrespectful if we didn’t,” Webelos Scout Aidan Harvey said.

Two brothers shared their feelings after presenting the check to Bastian, on behalf of Cub Scout Pack 101.

“It made me feel good for helping the veterans and the other people who get to go on the Honor Flight,” Noah Lawson said. His brother said he felt the same way about presenting the donation.

“It just made me feel thankful for them for serving our country,” Nicholas Lawson said.

Bastian let the boys know what their donation meant to the Great River Honor Flight program, a journey that brings one veteran and a guardian on a trip including a tour of war memorials and monuments in Washington, D.C. and a homecoming with an enormous motorcycle escort from the Patriot Riders. So far, the Honor Flight crew has taken 1070 local veterans on the journey, Bastian said.

Bastian shared how he showed honor for men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice. On Tuesday morning, Bastian and his wife attended the funeral for a Marine who died serving our country.

“It all goes back to the red, white and blue,” Bastian said.

Fernandez told the Cub Scouts that the 34th Great River Honor Flight remained possible “because of people like you.” From the airports to the motorcycle escort from the Patriot Riders, the veterans are “treated like heroes,” he said.

For the next Honor Flight in April, about 80 members from the 126th Illinois National Guard plan to take the trip together. The soldiers were the only unit from Illinois to serve in Vietnam, he said.

Fernandez reminded the Cub Scouts to say thank you to veterans in their community and their family. He encouraged the boys to tell family members who are veterans — men and women — to sign up for the Great River Honor Flight at www.wgem.com/honorflight.

Dennis Ellis, owner of the POPS Club, told the group how much he enjoyed being the charter organization for Pack 101, the last remaining Cub Scout Pack in Hannibal. Several POPS Club members are former members of Pack 101, which dates back to the early years of Oakwood Elementary School. Ellis said he enjoyed witnessing the Scouts going camping, making fires, earning badges and racing in the Pinewood Derby over the past three years. He also commended the Scouts for raising funds for a great cause.

“It’s an honor to have them out here,” Ellis said.

Reach reporter Trevor McDonald at trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com