GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Mid-Michigan Honor Flight, which took 77 World War II veterans on a day trip to Washington, D.C., was a feat of planning.
The Tuesday event was scheduled with military-like precision.
Mid-Michigan Honor Flight Hub Director Tricia Donegan and her team coordinated housing the night before the flight, transportation to Gerald R. Ford International Airport, the flight itself, stops in Washington, D.C including the National Mall where the World War II Memorial is located and Arlington National Cemetery, a trip home and a ceremony back here in West Michigan.
“The challenges may have been many, the setbacks few. The reward is on the faces when I see them at the World War II Memorial,” Donegan said. “I wanted to do this for them.”
She said people can sign up their loved ones for a future Honor Flight.
“The first thing they need to do is go on the national Honor Flight website,” Donegan explained. “You can click on regional hubs and find your state. In that state, you can click and it will tell you which regional hubs are close to your area.”
But she warns that people will likely be put on a waiting list after filing an application.
And she said she’s looking for volunteers.
“We do need guardians to help us accompany these heroes,” Donegan said. “Volunteers are always welcome at venues especially like this. And of course if your heart does move, you to contribute financially. It certainly helps fund the planes.”
Funding is key since the flights are provided free of charge for those who served in World War II.
The Mid-Michigan Honor Flight is just one of many groups around the country that arranges similar one-day, all-encompassing tours to Washington, D.C. for veterans. The group hopes this week’s flight will be the first of many.