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      Veterans take flight, head for Washington D.C.

      The fourth U.P. Honor Flight

      Veterans took off on Wednesday morning once again for Washington D.C. to celebrate their military backgrounds.

      The Upper Peninsula Honor Flight is a local hub of the National Honor Flight Network, is a tribute to those who sacrificed by serving in the military. Honor Flight is a non-profit organization which transports veterans to Washington D.C. to visit and reflect.

      "Our first stop when we arrive is the World War II Memorial," said Barb VanRoy of the Honor Flight. "We go directly there. From there we do a short tour of the city and that gives the veterans time to rest. And then from there, we go to the Korean, Lincoln and Vietnam Memorials."

      "They can shoot the breeze and they can tell the stories." said Gladstone Veteran Rene Lippens.

      "It's just an honor and a privilege to be here," added Art Menard of the U.P. Marine Corps League. "To see these fellows off and welcome them home."

      Three charter buses and a police escort will take the vets on the tour. This year the Air Force Band will give a private concert, and the vets will arrive back in the U.P. on Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m.

      They will be welcomed by a German band playing patriotic music and also the Barber Shoppers Band.