Honor Flight touring Washington, D.C.

Upper Michigan World War II and Korean War veterans have spent the day touring Washington, D.C.

Dozens of men and women boarded a plane at the Delta County Airport in Escanaba this morning, bound for the nation’s capitol.

This is the fifth mission for U.P. Honor Flight, the organization that takes veterans to D.C. free of charge. The Michigan Patriot Guard provided a motorcycle escort.

“The only thing that we want to do is, we want to pay tribute to them because of the service that they provided for us,” Michigan Patriot Guard ride captain Jeffrey Aalto. “They protected our freedoms that we hold today.”

“We’re very grateful also to have representation from the Dominic Jacobetti Home as part of our Michigan affairs agency,” Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs senior policy adviser Jason Allen said. “Those are all great men that have done a wonderful job in such a special part of Michigan.”

As he’s done for past Honor Flight groups, Congressman Dan Benishek stopped by.

The Honor Flight had a full day of activity, with stops at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Lincoln Memorial and many other landmarks.

Tuesday night, each veteran was matched with a guardian who has accompanied them throughout the trip.

Many of those being honored have never seen the monuments dedicated to their service.

If you want to be part of the crowd welcoming the U.P. Honor Flight back to upper Michigan tonight, the welcome-home celebration begins at the Delta County Airport with the hangar opening at 7:00 tonight.

The plane with the Mission V veterans on board is scheduled to land at 8:30 p.m. to a hero’s welcome.