Orange County woman receives new van for non-profit dedicated to helping military families

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. (KABC) -- It was a special day for Laura Herzog.

Her non-profit, Honoring Our Fallen, turned eight years old.

"Eight years ago, I was just a girl who said I'm going to start an organization and try to make a difference," said Herzog.

Herzog has helped with nearly 700 casualty missions. A big part of the charity is helping military families work out the logistics when it's time to lay their loved ones to rest.

For five years they've been using a donated Toyota to transport families to and from airports and cemeteries, but they needed a larger vehicle.

Herzog reached out through social media.

She wanted to raise money needed to purchase a 15-passenger van.

After appearing on ABC7 Salutes last month, Herzog said people donated more than $3,000 dollars. The generosity continued.

Herzog said strangers gave, including a man from Catalina who donated $6,000.

Within 30 days, she had enough money.

She arrived at Galpin Ford in North Hills to pick up her new wheels, a 2018 15-passenger transit van priced at $37,000.

Galpin Ford said its charitable foundation threw in $5,000 toward the purchase price.

"It means a lot because families like mine are the ones that are transported in these vans," said Didi MacPherson.

MacPherson's son, Tommy, an Army Ranger, was killed in action in 2012.

"This is going to be a very comfortable peaceful ride," MacPherson said.

To Herzog, it's a birthday wish come true.
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