Good News In America: Town Salutes Vet; Ninja Kid, 7, Aims High

ACROSS AMERICA — The funeral for Vietnam War veteran Fred Haag, a sharpshooter in the Army who earned a Purple Heart and two Bronze Stars, looked to be a lonely affair with just a few family members and friends.

Haag was like a lot of vets. He didn’t talk much about what happened in Vietnam. But the war changed him, his niece Tina Flaherty told Patch.

This story from Wantagh-Seaford Patch local editor Dan Hampton illustrates the power of Patch’s community news network to connect neighbors. After reading the veteran’s story, they turned out to give him a hero’s funeral.

Read the full story: Hundreds Attend Wantagh Funeral For Vietnam Vet

Scroll down for more uplifting stories from Patch editors across the country.

This 10K Race Has Nothing To Do With Running

Speaking of forming connections, Rob Lawless is making them across the country. His goal is to connect with 10,000 people. Hoboken, New Jersey, Patch editor Caren Lissner caught up with him for this story on why he’s doing it.

Rob Lawless met Eva DiAddezzio, 98, in Pennsylvania as part of a project to meet 10,000 people. (Photo courtesy of Rob Laweless)

Washing Away The Cycle Of Bullying

Many kids take clean laundry for granted, and those that can’t are now able to go to school in a fresh set of clothing thanks to programs in New Jersey that wash away the cycle of bullying. Read Eric Kiefer’s story, part of our national “Menace of Bullies” national reporting project, on West Orange, New Jersey, Patch.

East Orange Mayor Ted Green visits students using free laundry facilities at John L. Costley Middle School. (East Orange Public Information Office, used with permission)

Boy, 7, Aims For Ninja World Title

Born prematurely at only 2 pounds, Hunter Gebo, now 7, has been a Ninja all his life when it comes to clearing obstacles. He’s aiming to make it official when he puts his moves to the test at the National Ninja League World Championships. Read Tony Schinella’s story about this amazing kid on Bedford, New Hampshire, Patch.

Together, They Saved A Man’s Life

A 911 dispatcher and 13-year-old girl worked together as a team after the teen found her dad wasn’t breathing. Following the dispatcher’s calm instructions to the letter, the girl performed CPR — not once, but six times — and saved her father’s life. Read Andrea Earnest’s story on Mokena, Illinois, Patch.

3rd Graders Raise $4K For Australia Wildfires

Nickels, dimes and quarters at a time, some third-graders raised $4,000 to help wildlife losing their habitat to the devastating wildfires in Australia. Read Karen Wall’s story on Toms River, New Jersey, Patch.

Third-graders Benjamin Kempner and Olivia Frantantoni speak with reporters about their “Coins for Koalas and Kangaroos” fundraising effort. (Photo courtesy of Toms River Regional Schools)

Pouches Of Love To Wee Australia Fire Victims

About 1 billion animals have been lost in the massive bush fire in Australia. Marsupials — kangaroos, koalas, wallabies and Tasmanian devils — raise their young in pouches to keep them safe and warm, and many lost their mothers. D’Ann Lawrence White tells what the team at Bucsh Gardens is doing to help these wee victims on Tampa, Florida, Patch.

Bush Gardens employees sew simulations of pouches for baby kangaroos, koalas and other marsupials orphaned by the wildfires in Australia. (Photo courtesy of Busch Gardens)