It is the first Monday of the month,which means it's time to recognize an outstanding community volunteer.
October's Giving Your Best winner is a true patriot and an outstanding American.
Doug Hastings is a tireless worker, always thinking of his fellow veterans first. Through his selfless devotion, Doug has made it possible for hundreds of World War II veterans to experience the trip of a life-time.
WJBF's Chris Kane has more as we salute Mr. Hastings with the Giving Your Best award.
"I don't think anyone has ever seen me at a loss for words," said Doug Hastings.
As a dedicated Vietnam War veteran, Doug Hastings is used to taking charge, but when presented with the giving your best award, it even left him speechless.
"My intent in the beginning was to do one trip to get one World War II veteran to Washington to see the Memorial, who was on a little electric scooter and didn't think he'd ever get there."
Since that trip nearly 10 years ago, Doug's "Vets to Washington Project" has made it possible for nearly 900 World War II veterans to see the Memorial.
"This is your life," Chris Kane said to Hastings. "This is what you are working on 24-7?" "Yes it is," Hastings replied. "But contrary to what people think, this is not work. This is a labor of love," said Hastings.
"To be able to do something to make sure every veteran gets to see the memorial in Washington, it's not work. It's fun and to travel with them and share memories it's an honor I can't even explain."
While Doug is the mastermind behind the project, he can't do it alone. Through the years, he's received tremendous financial support from many local businesses to make these very special bus trips happen. Local Zaxby's owner George Duehring is one of those sponsors.
"I had no idea the depths and breath of what he does," said Duehring. "24-7 probably understates it. It's his life. He's so detailed oriented and now of course by reputation has made arrangements has made the best style for people going up. It's impossible not to remember to always remember every trip and the people who go on it because he puts it together so well."
Each trip that Hastings goes on never feels the same.
"Not only does it feel like the first time, but we have this rule. We never say one group is better than the others, but we do say at the end of every trip it can't get any better than this and it always does. I have gotten more out of this project than anything I have done in my life."
Congratulations Doug Hastings! If you'd like to learn more about Doug's trips to D-C... click here. You can also contact Doug 706-832-6483 or through email: email@example.com
These trips are open to all veterans who wish to share the experience of visiting their memorials with other veterans and brothers & sisters in battle.
1336 Augusta West Parkway
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