MARQUETTE - At least two Upper Peninsula Honor Flights will take wing in 2014.
But before that happens, another special event for World War II veterans will take place under the auspices of Honor Flight. It's being called the Honorary Honor Flight and will take place at 1:30 p.m. March 14 at the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette.
"That day 78 World War II veterans from Jacobetti will be honored," said Barb Van Rooy, U.P. Honor Flight organizer. "These are veterans who are physically unable to make the trip to Washington, D.C."
Upper Peninsula Honor Flight participants Elmer Everson, left, and Wally Evance display the identical tattoos they got during World War II. The two Yoopers met by chance in Rhode Island in 1945 and have been best friends ever since. They traveled together on U.P. Honor Flight Mission V this past September. (Journal file photo by Renee Prusi)
More than 400 World War II veterans have already taken part in the first five missions of U.P. Honor Flight. The experience for the U.P. Honor Flight veterans is at no charge to them in appreciation for their service and sacrifice to the country. U.P. Honor Flight is part of the National Honor Flight Network.
Each veteran is accompanied by a "guardian" who pays his or her own expenses associated with the flight.
March 14's event at Jacobetti will include an honor guard, music and patriotic cookies and other snacks. Each veteran will receive an Honor Flight T-shirt and hat, a backpack and a World War II book, Van Rooy said, as well as having an individual photo taken to mark the occasion.
A Sled Night fundraiser for Upper Peninsula Honor Flight is planned starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at The Throttle Bar and Grill in Little Lake.
Co-sponsored by Boogren MiTech, the event will include food and drink specials, bucket drawings and 50/50 drawings. Non-snowmobilers are welcome, too.
Proceeds will go toward the U.P. Honor Flight which takes World War II veterans to the memorial in their honor in Washington, D.C.
Two flights from the U.P. already are planned for this year.
For more information, visit thethrottleup.com or call 346-9855.
"We will be showing them a video about the World War II Memorial, which I think they will enjoy," Van Rooy said. "We are really, really excited about being able to do this."
As for the upcoming trips to Washington, Mission VI is set for May 14 and will include a mix of WWII veterans and some from the Korean War. Van Rooy said letters will go out the first week of March to those who will be able to take part in the flight.
Mission VII is planned for Sept. 4, with that flight being close to capacity already, she said.
There is a possibility, if there are still veterans of those two wars who want to make the trip to the nation's capital, that another U.P. Honor Flight could take place in October.
For more information on Honor Flight or to download an application to take part as a veteran or as a guardian, visit upperpeninsulahonorflight.org or call Van Rooy at 906-280-1471.
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253.