CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — More than two dozen people showed up at Gerald R. Ford International Airport early Tuesday morning to honor veterans during an Honor Flight sendoff.

Mid-Michigan Honor Flight chose nearly 80 men and women to take part in the trip. They left the Ford Airport just after 8 a.m. Tuesday and will fly to Washington D.C. to spend the day visiting multiple memorials including the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Military Women’s Memorial. They will also watch the changing of the guard at Arlington Cemetery.

One woman, whose father served in the Korean War, said this is a big moment for him.

“It was a great opportunity for him to do this because he has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and so he doesn’t have very much longer so for him to do this honor flight, it’s amazing,” said Michele Terpstra.

She added that her sister filled out the application before COVID-19, so her dad has been waiting years for this trip.

“He talked about it nonstop … pretty exciting,” Terpstra said.

A national nonprofit, Honor Flight sends veterans to national memorials in D.C. in honor of their service to our country. Talon’s Out, Upper Peninsula and Mid-Michigan Honor Flight organizations serve veterans from Michigan. This was Mid-Michigan Honor Flight’s first trip since the pandemic.

Typically, the organization does two flights per year, but had to call it off because of COVID-19 flight restrictions.

People in the community are invited to welcome the veterans home Tuesday night when they return around 8 p.m. Participants are encouraged to bring signs and American flags to support the veterans.