Pearl Harbor survivor raises funds for trip thanks to SWFL generosity

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PUNTA GORDA, Fla.- A Pearl Harbor survivor will be in Hawaii this December to mark the 74th anniversary of the attacks thanks to the help of the Southwest Florida community.

“I’m feeling fantastic, this is quite a shock. I know coming over, Mike said it was a surprise and I had no idea at all what it was,” said 92-year-old John Seelie.

On Tuesday, WINK News first brought you Seelie’s story. The veteran wanted to return to Hawaii to remember the attack, but he needed thousands of dollars to make the trip. Wednesday, Manhattan Construction couldn’t pass up the chance to help a local veteran.

“Literally as soon as the piece was over, I picked up the phone, called WINK News, said I want to help this man,” said Manhattan Construction Vice President KP Pezeshkan.

“Then when I saw all this, I couldn’t talk, and I talk pretty easy and I couldn’t talk,” said Seelie.

Pezeshkan presented a check for $2,500 to help get Seelie on a flight to Oahu.

“We were willing to spring for the entire trip, but there were so many others, and I don’t want to take all the credit for it,” said Pezenskan.

After WINK News first aired the story, nearly 50 people donated to Seelie’s GoFundMe account, raising just over $3,400.

“I was just glad I was here to do this, to see this,” said Seelie.

Men from American Legion Post 110 came to celebrate the donations. Together, the men represented the Army, Navy Seals, Marines and Air Force. The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office also came to show support.

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