AAnother successful Upper Peninsula Honor Flight is in the books and we must congratulate the organizers of this wonderful program.
Barb Van Rooy of Gladstone and the others who have organized this effort three times now do an absolutely superb job, making sure the veterans are treated like the heroes they are as they make their way to our nation's capital.
For those unaware of the program, Honor Flight is a national effort to bring World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., to see the memorial in their honor. The memorial did not open until 2004 but has become one of Washington's most popular tourist destinations.
Van Rooy and her group welcome all WWII veterans from the Upper Peninsula to take part. So far, more than 200 veterans have made the journey, completely free of charge.
Kudos as well to those who volunteer to be guardians. Each veteran has a guardian assigned to him or her to make sure every need is met during the trip, which includes a jet ride from Escanaba to the Washington area, then a bus tour that takes the contingent to many of the capital's most significant sites in addition to the WWII memorial.
Guardians pay for the privilege of taking part in the trip which is a wonderful gesture indeed.
Another U.P. Honor Flight is planned for the spring of 2013 and there already is interest from many veterans. For more information on how to participate in or contribute to U.P. Honor Flight, contact the flight's organizer Barb Van Rooy via mail at Upper Peninsula Honor Flight, 7610 S. Lake Bluff, 0.5 Drive, Gladstone MI 49837, or call her at 906-280-1471.
In the coming months, organizers will be putting together fundraising events to make the next flight possible. Every World War II veteran in the U.P. deserves a chance to make the trip so we hope our readers will step up and help as they are able.