12-year-old girl honors veterans at military appreciation event

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COLUMBIA - Mid America Harley-Davidson honored both veterans and those who are actively serving with a military appreciation event Saturday.

Complete with a flag ceremony, a free raffle for military members and live music, dozens of people came to show their gratitude to those fighting for our freedom.

But a 12-year-old girl is going the extra mile to recognize veterans.

"They're just amazing people," Katie Bernicky said. "They sacrifice so much just so we can have freedom."

Katie raises money to help send veterans to Washington D.C. to see their war memorials. She set up a table at the event to sell her baked goods, bookmarks and raffle off patriotic paintings.

"It takes about a week to fully get prepared," she said.

Katie has done this before. For the last two years, she's helped send 20 veterans to Washington D.C.

"I'm here trying to get to my 21st veteran," she said. "I would like to at least raise $100."

Katie said it costs $300 to send one veteran to Washington D.C. She said she most enjoys hearing about their experiences.

"My favorite part is to hear these stories," she said. "I know that I've helped people do this. I know that I've done this for the people that have served. They did way more than I'm doing, but I feel like this is my part in the world."

And Katie doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon.

"My goal is actually to send an entire flight, which is I'm pretty sure 90 to 110 veterans," she said. "I would be so proud. It would be amazing."

If you're interested in donating to Katie's cause, you can send her a message on her Facebook page.

The military appreciation event also included donation presentations to Patriot Guard Riders, Missouri Patriot Paws and Central Missouri Honor Flight.