Grand Rapids, Michigan, November 21, 2022 – Operation Handshake will be held on Nov. 23 at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport where active military members and veterans will receive a patriotic welcome to West Michigan.
As military members and veterans arrive in West Michigan, veterans’ groups will line the concourse exits of the Ford International Airport to greet and thank them for their service. The daylong event will include members of the Patriot Guard Riders and Blue Star Mothers greeting the honored travelers, waving American flags, offering words of thanks and singing patriotic songs.
“The Ford International Airport is proud to welcome our troops and veterans to West Michigan,” said Lisa Carr, public safety & operations director for the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority. “Operation Handshake is a great event for the community to join in recognizing and supporting all that our service members have done and continue to do for our country.”
Operation Handshake is free and open to the public, activities will start at 8 a.m. that day.
Loved ones of military members and veterans traveling through Ford International Airport on Nov. 23 are encouraged to participate in Operation Handshake and provide flight information to Patriot Guard Riders, including arrival time. Information may be provided to Phil Pakiela via email at email@example.com or by phone at 616.916.3064.
“Each year it is an honor to greet veterans and active military and see the expressions on their faces,” said Phil Pakiela, captain of the Patriot Guard Riders of West Michigan. “This day encompasses what this country and this community is about—appreciation for the brave individuals who fight for our freedom.”
“During this season of gratitude, we invite all Airport guests to take a moment to join us in honoring our military,” said Lisa Carr.
About the Gerald R. Ford International Airport
The Gerald R. Ford International Airport is the second busiest airport in Michigan, serving business and leisure travelers with nonstop and connecting flights on six airlines. The Ford International Airport is managed and operated by the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority. For more information, visit www.flyford.org or follow the airport on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram @FlyGRFord.