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Vets take wacky ride to D.C.

Contest winner takes group to WWII Memorial

Contest winner takes group to WWII Memorial

November 12, 2005|By MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - Car horns honked, grownups pointed and children squealed Friday afternoon as the orange and yellow Oscar Mayer Wienermobile pulled into the parking lot of the Morris Frock American Legion Post 42 on Northern Avenue.

When the gull-winged door opened, out stepped three World War II veterans and Hagerstonian Meg Galligan - one of 20 winners nationwide in the company's "Ride of Your Life" contest.

As a contest winner, Galligan had use of the vehicle for a day and up to $5,000 to make the day memorable. She chose to treat the three men to spending Veterans Day at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., making the trip in the rather unconventional hot dog-shaped promotional vehicle.

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"It was so exciting," she said. "And then there were the expressions on people's faces when we pulled up."

An auxilian at Morris Frock, Galligan said she was inspired by the veterans she knows there to enter the contest last May. "I thought I could do this for them so I wrote an essay saying how I'd like to take them to see the World War II Memorial on Veterans Day," she said.

Galligan, chairwoman of the Business Administration Department at Shepherd University, said she sent in her essay and had almost forgotten about it until mid-September when she was informed she was one of 20 winners out of more than 75,000 entrants.

Accompanying Galligan on the trip Friday were Jack Stenger, David Shaw and Peter Lowenhaupt. Galligan said she picked them because she is close to Stenger and Shaw and has heard their stories about the war.

"It was fabulous," Stenger said. "I'd never been to the World War II Memorial before ... let alone in the Wienermobile."

He described the memorial as "very impressive."

Shaw was also a first-time visitor to the attraction. "I don't know, people did what they had to do back then," Shaw said about his service in the military during World War II. He agreed Friday's trip was certainly memorable.

Galligan used $2,000 of her prize money to purchase a griddle for the Morris Frock Legion Post. The rest went for the expenses of the trip. Each of the three men also received a prize package.

"I was born in Washington, D.C., so I grew up around monuments," Galligan said. "But this was one of the most inspiring I've seen."

Before leaving Hagerstown, the Wienermobile gave rides around the parking lot to veterans and their families.

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