The General George Patton Scholarship of Honor in Pilsen Czech Republic

Doug LaViolette recently had the privilege of attending the Liberation Celebration of the City of Pilsen in the Czech Republic. May 6th, 2010 marked the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Pilsen by General George Patton's 3rd Army.

Our good friend Bob Nueske, was relentless in making sure he experienced what he had a couple years ago. Both he and Doug had served in the United States Army back in the late 60's, and not far from this city.

The events of May 1-9 were truly life-changing in so many ways. We hope the following snapshots that Doug captured will help share his time there. What he witnessed was the love of America and the American Soldier- even 65 years after the liberation of their city.

To show their respect, thousands of Czech citizens lined the streets for miles to pay tribute to General Patton and the American Soldier.

The week was filled with large crowds to private reflective moments, including this American family's private time to honor and remember their American hero. This is the crash site of Lt. Virgil P. Kirkham, the last recorded American USAAF pilot killed in Europe during WWII. It was Lt. Kirkham's 82nd mission and one that he volunteered to go on.

At the time this 20 year old pilot's P-47 Thunderbolt plane was shot down, a young 14 year old Czech girl, Zdenky Sladkove, was so moved by his sacrifice she made a vow to care for him and his memory.

For 65 straight years , Zdenky, now 79 years old, took on the responsibility to care for Virgil's crash site and memorial near her home.

Another chapter in this important story.....the Czech people are teaching their children about America's sacrifice for their freedom.
American Soldiers, young and old, are the ''Rock Stars'' these children and their parents want autographs from..

After witnessing these magical moments Bob Nueske asked how could we not start a scholarship in Pilsen?

So we're proud to announce starting next year, The Brian LaViolette Foundation will established The Scholarship of Honor in tribute to General George S. Patton and the American Soldier, past and present.

Thanks to Bob Nueske, we have the start of the endowment fund to make this possible.