Former SLU Coach Lorenzo Romar Helps Fly Tuskegee Airman to Inauguration
Eighty-four-year-old George Hickman grew up in St. Louis in the 1930s. During World War II, Hickman joined the Tuskegee Airmen -- the all African-American division of the Army Air Corps. Later on Hickman got a job with Boeing and eventually settled in Washington state.
Hickman now spends his retirement working as a stadium usher for the University of Washington Huskies. That's where he met Huskies (and former Saint Louis University) basketball coach, Lorenzo Romar. The coach (pictured here during his college playing days) calls Hickman a "selfless" individual who is always "trying to lift someone else up."
This week Romar got to return the favor by lifting Hickman up -- way, way up. Hickman was one of several Tuskegee Airmen that Barack Obama invited to attend yesterday's inauguration. (If you watched the inauguration on television, you probably saw shots of these men sitting in ballcaps emblazoned with medals and military patches.)
Turns out, though, that Obama's invite didn't provide airfare and Hickman wasn't sure he could swing the trip. That's when Romar and other UW staffers started a collection. The other week they presented Hickman with $2,100 to pay for his trip.