Teen honors grandfather, donates nearly $11K of his bar mitzvah money to Wounded Warriors of Collier County

Reporter: Tiffany Rizzo
Published: Updated:

Herman Kaufman lives to give honor to his name. The 13-year-old is named after his grandfather – a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.

Herman never met his namesake since his grandfather died a year before he was born.

But his stories live on.

“They were about to get shot down over Czechoslovakia and a bombing grade. And since we are of Jewish descent, if they got caught by the Nazis, they would be put to the stakes of concentration camps. So he had to throw out his dog tags.” Herman said. said. “He told the crew that he’s going to throw out his dog tags, and then the whole crew said, no, we’re gonna throw out our dog tags because we’re all part of this together.”

A military dog tag at the time had a lot of solider’s personal information, so on Herman’s, the H on it stood for Hebrew, the A for his blood type, and then there’s his serial number.

Herman wears a dog tag around his neck pretty much everywhere, saying, “I wear it to sleep, I wear when I shower, and at any other time.”

He decided to honor his grandfather, and his service to his country, by donating 50% of his bar mitzvah money to the Wounded Warriors of Collier County.

Specifically the Alpha House.

This amounted to $10,750.

Wounded Warriors of Collier County president, Dale Mullin, said, “I was just blown away by that act of kindness, and that act of generosity because it’s something you don’t see in a 13-year-old today. Those 13-year-olds want to hold onto every nickel they have.”

Herman just said, “Hopefully these dollars are able to enhance these lives, make their lives better, help pay for whatever bills they need, just overall make their lives easier.”

Herman’s father, Edward, told us his dad would be so proud. “He always was concerned about things that were right and things that were wrong, and would always stand up and point out when something was unfair.”

And now that’s Herman’s calling.

With Herman’s nearly $11,000 donation to the Wounded Warriors of Collier County, the money will be used to help veterans get back on their feet.

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