WWII Veteran Honored with Send-Off to Honor Flight

A World War II veteran from Northern Michigan is getting the honor of a lifetime: a flight to Washington D.C. to visit a monument dedicated to his service.

A program called Mid-Michigan Honor Flight selected 93-year-old Basil Ciaramitaro to join fellow veterans and travel to the nation’s capital.

Basil lives in Prudenville.

The community, including members of the American Legion, VFW 4159 and National Guard, held a going-away party for him before his big flight.

70 years after serving in World War II, the local hero got a proper send-off today.

He’ll fly out tomorrow morning.

After serving in the Battle of the Bulge, he’ll finally get to see how his country is honoring his sacrifice.

“This is a very important day,” said Renee Harley, Basil’s guardian.

An important day for a very important person.

Basil Ciaramitaro has seen many things in his lifetime.

70 years ago, he became a war hero.

“It’s hard to remember after 70 years,” Ciaramitaro said. “That’s a long time.”

Having fought in the Battle of the Bulge in WWII, the honor he’s receiving isn’t a moment too soon.

Tomorrow, Basil will head to the nation’s capital and the World War II Memorial.

“He has never been honored before like this and it’s never too late at 93 years old to have him be so excited about this trip to washington D.C.,” said Marlene Ciaramitaro, Basil’s daughter.

And he’s not alone.

Flying with him will be 80 other veterans, all who fought in the same war.

People who are increasingly difficult to find.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime shot,” said Robert Achele, who served as chapline for the VFW Hall at the send-off. “These WWII veterans, these small brothers, are dying each day. You don’t get an opportunity to talk to them personally.”

With the big day happening tomorrow, Basil is excited.

Still, he only wishes his buddies from the front could be there with him.

“I am very fortunate that I was picked in this area,” Basil said. “It’s too bad that none of the other fellas are here to enjoy it.”

9&10 News is tagging along on the Honor Flight, and we will have continuing coverage starting with Michigan This Morning tomorrow.