OAHU, Hawaii — An Oregon family has raised funds to send their 101-year-old Navy veteran father back to Pearl Harbor, a place where he served during Japan’s surprise attack 80 years ago.
Kimberlee Heinrichs’s GoFundMe page exceeded its $10,000 goal. As of Monday, they raised more than $14,000, which allowed them to send additional help to care for Ira “Ike” Schab during the trip, according to the family.
Schab was a U.S. Navy musician, assigned to the destroyer USS Dobbin, on Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, according to Hawaii News Now. He had planned to meet his brother when Japanese planes began to attack, ultimately pulling the United States into World War II.
“It’s hard what to say the feeling that runs through your mind. You’re scared. You don’t know what’s going to happen next,” Schab told the news outlet. “When I realized we were under attack I got busy doing what I was told, passing ammunition and getting that sort of stuff done.”
Schab was just 21 years old when he was stationed at Pearl Harbor, the New York Post reported.
“This fundraiser will cover flights, hotel, car, food for Ike and two family caregivers to keep him safe and be honored at the Pearl Harbor Anniversary ceremonies,” Heirichs wrote on the GoFundMe page.
Shore leave in Shanghai. Perhaps 1945? When he was stationed on the USS Helena. Pop is the one making a goofy face in back. Shocking. I wonder about all these folks and whether any are still with us. #Ike2Pearl80th #Ike101 pic.twitter.com/FgyGUJi1ht
— Pearl Harbor Survivor Ike Schab (@Ike2Pearl) December 2, 2021
After exceeding their financial goal, which allows them to get Schab to participate in the anniversary in person, Heinrichs wrote:
“We made our goal higher. We are going to take an additional caregiver (sharing rooms) and we are making some arrangements for accessibility friendly trips while on the island. The additional caregiver means that no one is on 24/7. This will make things easier on all of us. Pop is actually very excited to share some of Hawaii with Vicky. Vicky is Pop’s regular VA caregiver when I’m at work. The additional amounts will pay for food and any admission fees for the additional caregiver. I have also already replaced his broken transport wheelchair. I truly appreciate all of the support for this trip. If you feel inclined to share in support of these additional expenses it would be appreciated.”
— Pearl Harbor Survivor Ike Schab (@Ike2Pearl) December 3, 2021
“Thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart,” Schab said. “It was very generous and unexpected and very kind, and I am forever grateful.”
For the Sunday Service. pic.twitter.com/vu979eHGOn
— Pearl Harbor Survivor Ike Schab (@Ike2Pearl) December 5, 2021
According to family posts on Twitter, they’ve made it to Hawaii and have already been participating in various commemorative events.