Honor Flight completes 13th mission this week

Veterans again had the thrill of taking part in Upper Peninsula Honor Flight this week.

A group of 72 World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans lifted off in the wee hours of Wednesday morning for a busy day visiting the monuments in their honor and other landmarks in Washington, D.C.

Each accompanied by a guardian who paid $500 for the chance to take part in the flight, the veterans were treated like the heroes they are.

Poignant stories and photos covering their journey were shared with our readers by Dennis Grall, the retired longtime sports editor of The Daily Press of Escanaba, himself a Vietnam veteran.

The veterans on the trip told Grall of their war experiences, but Honor Flight allowed them to share with each other this special, unforgettable day in our nation’s capital.

It’s a whirlwind journey but it’s a grand time for all involved. The three buses packed with U.P. veterans were escorted by police, allowing them to zip through traffic jams to get to as many stops as possible.

The trip — the 13th in the Upper Peninsula Honor Flight’s history — culminated with an enthusiastic, flag-waving welcome-home gathering at the Delta County Airport Wednesday night.

We thank Scott Knauf, U.P. Honor Flight president, and all those involved in making this journey happen twice each year. Veterans get to travel at no cost to them because Knauf and his troop work their tails off year round to make these trips possible.

The next time any of our readers come across a U.P. Honor Flight fundraising event, we hope they will support it with pride. Hundreds of veterans have taken an Honor Flight so far, but there are still hundreds more who deserve the chance to do the same.

Thank you, U.P. Honor Flight, for providing such an amazing experience for our veterans.