Emotional experience for Upper Peninsula Honor Flight visiting war memorials, monuments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – 76 Vietnam and Korean war veterans from the U.P. went on a Honor Flight to our nation’s capital. They visited memorials dedicated to those who served in the armed forces. 

WZMQ 19 met with one Vietnam Vet from National Mine, Michigan who said this Honor Flight was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.   

 “I never dreamed I’d be here,” said Bill Hager, a Vietnam Vet on the Honor Flight. “This is a lifetime milestone and this World War II Memorial we’re at right now it’s a tribute to my dad, my uncle’s father. Just great to be here and this is a tribute to them as much as it is me and us. 

We asked if the trip has been emotional, Hager replied: “Oh yeah. I had a line of kids about 50 and wanted to shake my hand filled with tears.”  

This is Hager’s first time on this Honor Flight. He said this trip gave him the chance to meet with other Vietnam Vets who fought in the same battle at Dong-Ha on the DMZ nearly 50 years ago. Hager said this trip has been so special that he wants to help make sure other veterans get a chance to experience this honor flight to D.C. 

During this whirlwind trip, veterans fly out of Michigan early morning and visit monuments and memorials dedicated to our service members in D.C. They also get to stop by Arlington National Cemetery and then fly right back home that same day.   

“Whatever healing that they need, I hope the healing begins today and it continues and whatever kind of healing they need, that’s what I’m hoping for,” said Scott Knauf, U.P. Flight President.   

Organizers hope that this trip can provide closure to any veterans who need it.