Veteran's balloon makes it all the way to Nova Scotia
July 20, 2012, By Mike Fak, When the 1,300 red, white, blue and black balloons with the names of veterans inside them were released into the air on Memorial Day at the Legion, it looked like few would make much of a trip as they sped along the ground, fighting to get aloft.
High winds had buffeted the afternoon event and in some cases made it impossible for volunteers to separate the balloons as strings of groups of balloons were getting spun around each other in the wind.
Some balloons drifted and landed just a few hundred yards from the parking lot. But, others, including those wrapped around each other, took off on a low-trajectory bee-line to the Northeast at about 30 miles an hour.
Despite the winds, many balloons, which carried the names of veterans inside them, found homes in other states. In one case an Indiana resident found fifty of the balloons settled into his garden and sent word to the Legion Auxiliary of the find along with a return of the name slips.
But by far, the most interesting, if not impossible, find of one of the balloons was by a gentleman a very long way from Lincoln.
Bruce DeLong of Caledonia, Nova Scotia, Canada forwarded this letter to the Legion. "I located a balloon with the attached note on June 2nd at Medway Lake while trout fishing with friends. I am including a photocopy of western Nova Scotia, Canada indicating where the balloon was found. Regards, Bruce DeLong, RR2 Caledonia, Nova Scotia Canada BOT1B0"
Nova Scotia is over 1,600 miles from Lincoln, half the width of the United States and according to Mapquest is a 30 hour drive if you aren't a helium filled balloon.
Very close to the point where land meets the Atlantic Ocean, the balloon takes the prize for making it the farthest point one of the balloons actually went: Unless another is on its way to Europe.
The veterans' names inside the balloon that made this most remarkable journey were Gerald Roger and Dick Mauer.