Company to pay to fly veterans to National WWII Memorial

LAWRENCEVILLE - A local corporation is doing its part to spread the word about prostate cancer while helping WWII veterans travel to "their" monument for a day of recognition and honor.

Theragenics, based in Buford, has teamed up with the Honor Flight Network to help 65 Atlanta-area veterans travel to Washington, D.C., to visit the National WWII Memorial - at no cost to them - and receive "the tribute they deserve."

"Something they might not be able to do without our help," said Theragenics President and CEO Christine Jacobs. "But our involvement goes further; to their health. We strongly encourage these men and other men in their families to get checked and, if faced with ... prostate cancer, to research and know their options for treatment."

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. For the program - called "To Honor. To Cure." - Theragenics donated $100,000 to help more than 400 veterans around the country take the day-long trip. Atlanta-area vets will gather at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Saturday, where they will be accompanied by 50 guardians - veterans, Theragenics employees and other volunteers - to see to their comfort and safety.

Last Saturday, Jacobs was hands-on, serving as a guardian on a flight from Tampa, Fla. She escorted her father, Army Staff Sgt. Raymond Leo Jacobs, an infantryman who served from 1943-1946.

On Saturday's flight, retired Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Haney, will represent Theragenics as its prostate cancer patient education program spokesman.

Officials said Haney chose to be a part of the program after seeing friends beat prostate cancer because of early detection. Moreover, studies suggest that Vietnam veterans are more likely to develop cancer because of exposure to Agent Orange.

Honor Flight Network was established in 2005 to, according to its Web site, "fulfill the dreams" of America's "senior heroes." Approximately 1,000 WWII veterans die every day, the site says.