Volunteers to welcome troops, vets at Ford Airport

Operation Handshake at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport on Nov. 25, 2015.
Operation Handshake at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport on Nov. 25, 2015.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The Gerald R. Ford International Airport once again is working with the Patriot Guard Riders of West Michigan to welcome returning military service members and veterans on the day before Thanksgiving.

Grand Rapids airport volunteers, therapy dogs and members of the troop-supporting motorcycle organization will participate Wednesday in “Operation Handshake.” As in the past, they will staff both concourses throughout the day and thank active and retired soldiers and sailors for their service.

Organizers say they know not all military service members can make it home during the holidays but they want to extend their gratitude in person to those who do.

The event is free and open to the public, and community and service groups are invited to attend.