Inside Aera
People of Aera, Community May 11, 2018

Belridge Adopt-A-Family provides funds to veterans to make Honor Flight

When it comes to supporting the community the Belridge Adopt-A-Family (AAF) is always up to the challenge, and, once again, they stepped up for a good cause – helping veterans.

With $1,500 already pledged, Belridge employees were challenged to match that dollar amount. In just seven days in April, Belridge AAF raised an additional $1,502 that allowed two Kern County veterans to attend an Honor Flight trip to Washington, D.C. to see World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War memorials. The veterans returned from their trip on May 7.

From left: Denys Contreras, Linda Mohammad, World War II veteran Warren Morse, Marine and Korean War veteran Rex Young, Jennifer Valdez, Kevin Cowen, Eddie Medrano and H.B. Addison, Marine and Korean War veteran.

Spurred on by Denys Contreras, Jennifer Valdez and Linda Mohammad, the Belridge AAF gave itself a month to raise the money for the flight, but it achieved that goal quickly and thanks, in part, to an initial anonymous $250 donation from a Belridge employee. The effort was also helped by another $200 anonymous donation.

The money raised helped provide the trip for Warren Morse, a World War II Navy veteran, and Rex Young, a Marine who served in the Korean War. After serving his country, Young later worked as an oilfield geologist at Belridge.

Aera’s Eddie Medrano, a production operator in Ventura, also attended the flight as a volunteer guardian for H.B. Addison, a Marine Corps veteran from the Korean War. Guardians play a crucial role in helping assist veterans navigate the trip.

Mohammad said the Belridge AAF team was surprised to learn that an anonymous donor gave Kern County Honor Flight a $20,000 donation, which covered 14 of the 16 veterans (15 men, one woman) attending the trip. With the $3,002 Belridge AAF donation the flight was fully funded.

“We were so excited to hear this,” said Mohammad, who added they are working to have Morse and Young meet with the employees at Belridge. “It’s as if everything was just meant to be and it was extra special that one of the veterans was an oilfield geologist.”

In recent months, Belridge AAF has provided support to neighboring schools with Easter-themed gift baskets and educational supplies, and financial support to families impacted by the Thomas Fire in Ventura.

Aera employees who greeted members of the Honor Flight were, from left, Denys Contreras, Jennifer Valdez, Kevin Cowen, Eddie Medrano, and Linda Mohammad.

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