ESCANABA – Seventy-nine World War II and Korean War veterans from across the Upper Peninsula are leaving early Wednesday morning for a trip of a lifetime to see the memorials in Washington D.C. that are dedicated in their honor. The gathered Tuesday night in Escanaba to get ready for the trip.
Eugene Cavicchioni of Iron Mountain was there in 1982 when the land was dedicated for the Korean War Memorial but he has never seen the memorial. The Purple Heart recipient is looking forward to seeing the ghostly statues that represent a squadron on patrol in Korea.
“It means a lot to be able to go,” Cavicchioni said, “especially when you get to my age of 83 and you can still see pretty good and you can hear pretty good and you can understand and be with all your buddies. These are your buddies right here. That’s what it means to me. It’s an honor to be here.”
Roman Gill of Escanaba spent some time in Korea during the war. He is looking forward to seeing the Korean War Memorial.
“I want to look into the book and see some of the guys that I shared time with that are missing and killed in action,” he said.
Gill was a platoon Sargent in a rifle company in Korea. He said being able to go on the trip means that someone appreciates what he went through.
“It means somebody appreciates what happened because when I came home nobody said anything. So, this will be really something,” said Gill.
The sixth Upper Peninsula Honor Flight leaves the Delta County Airport in Escanaba at 7:30 Wednesday morning. The group is expected to return at 8:30 Wednesday night. Organizers are encouraging a large pubic turnout to welcome the veterans home.