Tuskegee Airman offered help to attend inaugural
Duluth, Minn. (AP) — Residents of Duluth are stepping up to help a member of the Tuskegee Airmen who was invited to attend Barack Obama's inauguration but didn't know if he could afford the trip.
Former fighter pilot Joe Gomer was a member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, the World-War II-era fighter wing that was made up of the U.S. military's first black pilots.
The 87-year-old Gomer and 225 other surviving airmen were invited to Obama's Jan. 20 inauguration, but no travel or lodging accommodations were made.
The Duluth News-Tribune ran an article about Gomer's plight on Monday, and now reports that a number of local residents and business people contacted Gomer and the newspaper with offers of help.
A travel agency and a recreational aircraft association have offered free travel. Some readers offered friends' homes for Gomer and his wife to stay, as well as monetary donations.
Gomer says he now believes he'll be able to make the trip.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)