MERRILL (WAOW)--What do an 89-year-old World War ll veteran and a 15-your-old boy from Russia have in common? An undying love for our country and the ability to remind us just how lucky we are to live in freedom.
Johnny Weber had never met Clifford Maluegge, but when Johnny heard he could write the vet a letter to be delivered on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight, he quickly put pen to paper.
The two met for the first time when the flight landed at CWA, and have continued a friendship since.
"I love our veterans because fought for this country..I wouldn't be here without them," said Johnny on his desire to connect with area veterans like Clifford.
For the seasoned veteran, this relationship is eye-opening because many young people have no idea about the sacrifices made to uphold the freedoms they enjoy.
"That war was something else, but coming together with him and getting to see how proud he is of everybody that served in the war, it really means a lot to me," said Clifford.
Johnny said the first time he felt freedom was when he saw the American flag, and even though he was only adopted from Russia two years ago, he understands the importance of our nation's symbol of freedom and justice for all.
A good reminder for all of us who often take our veterans and the freedoms they've provided us for granted.