Michigan heroes tour D.C. during honor flight

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- From Michigan's Upper Peninsula, all the way to Washington, DC. Dozens of veterans fly out to the nation’s capital as a symbol of gratitude. That’s where our Washington correspondent Alana Austin picks up the story.

It’s never too late to say thank you, that’s the idea behind this Upper Peninsula honor flight.

“Oh, today is just tremendous," exclaimed Darrell Eland.

Eland, a retired Marine, and dozens of other veterans from the U.P. toured the nation’s capital Tuesday.

These heroes put their lives on the line for the country, and organizers say this trip is a small way for the country to give back.

“The people that you see all over - just the cheering and the happiness for you, you can’t say enough for it," said Eland.

With the help of volunteers and family, these Michigan veterans enjoyed special moments at the World War Two memorial.

Three in this group served in World War II, fellow veterans in later conflicts -- like Korea and Vietnam. All along for the journey voiced an appreciation for this trip of a lifetime.

“It’s an honor being around everyone today and giving them what they deserve," said John Mellinger, who served as a guardian on the trip for his father.

“Every time someone says thank you for your service it just goes to the bottom of your heart. You really appreciate it," said Eland.

The veterans and volunteers also toured the Korean, Lincoln and Vietnam memorials, as well as Arlington National Cemetery. But it’s not just military sites, they’re touring the city too.

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