Mid-Michigan Honor Flight will host veterans at Camp Grayling this fall
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
An organization that takes veterans to Washington D.C. to visit memorials created in their honor will use Camp Grayling as a hub for its fall outing.
Mid-Michigan Honor Flight, which covers 50 counties in the Lower Peninsula, will host between 60 to 70 veterans at Camp Grayling, Tuesday, Sept. 25, to Thursday, Sept. 27.
Mid-Michigan Honor Flight is 501(c)(3) organization which raises funds to take veterans to the nation’s capital for a day at no cost to the veteran and their guardian.
Bob Green, the vice president on the board of directors for Mid-Michigan Honor Flight, said the Mid-Michigan Honor Flight is unique since it covers a three-day period.
This fall, the veterans will register at Camp Grayling and hold a meet and greet.
“They get to meet their guardians and spend some time with them,” said Green, who is a Maple Forest Township resident.
In the evening, dinner is served along with entertainment and a keynote speaker.
The following morning, breakfast is provided to the veterans before they are bussed to the Cherry Capital Airport to travel to Washington D.C.
While visiting the capital, veterans are taken to the World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War Memorials. They also witness the changing of the guard at the Arlington Cemetery. The veterans then go to view the Marine Corps Memorial and Air Force Memorial.
Crowds are encouraged to gather at the airport as veterans return to Traverse City, with a special honor given to Vietnam veterans.
“We make sure the Vietnam veterans are the last ones off the plane and everybody is there to give them a welcome home,” said Green, who retired after serving as a sergeant with the Michigan State Police.
On the third day, veterans who have been on previous Honor Flight trips will gather at Camp Grayling for a reunion. Green said the organization hopes to have over 300 World War II veterans attend.
Aging World War II and Korean War veterans go the top of the list for going on the flight along with veterans who are battling a terminal illness.
Mid-Michigan Honor Flight has funded 10 flights and has raised $1 million to cover the cost of the flights and accommodations.
Green, who served with military police in the U.S. Army, said governmental organizations will be asked to endorse the Camp Grayling gathering. Businesses and organizations will also be asked to support the event financially.
“We want to make this a community event, not just a Mid-Michigan Honor Flight event,” Green said.
Veterans interested in going on an Honor Flight and people who want to support the event can get more information at www.midmichiganhonorflight.com.
“If you know a veteran, we would love to have them,” Green said.