Volunteers From Across MI Give WWII Veteran Escort From Kalkaska to Newaygo

A final send off for a World War II veteran and the turnout is the proof of the power of social media.

Thayne Guthrie died last week at the age of 92.

While he was living in Kalkaska he wanted to be buried in Newaygo near his son. Monday he had a special two-hour escort in his honor.

“I can’t thank them all enough for coming here and doing this for him,” one of Guthrie’s daughters, Diane Krupski says.

Thayne Guthrie served in the U.S. Navy during World War II on the USS Houston (CL-81). His family says he took pride in seeing patriot guard escorts. So his family wanted that for him, but needed some help. That’s why they turned to Facebook.

Krupski explains, “I just put it out there veteran or not would like to come to take this last ride for my dad, he will be grinning from ear to ear.”

The post quickly spread to more than 3,800 shares; reaching people in Battle Creek, Cedar Springs, even Mike Weaver in Newaygo.

Weaver, who is not only a biker, but a fellow veteran, was surprised when he saw the turnout. “I really thought I was going to be the only motorcycle, but I still wanted to do it for him.”

Like Weaver, many believe giving Guthrie a two-hour escort from Kalkaska to Newaygo is something they had to do. “I got to do it for my brothers, let alone a World War II vet. It’s something special so it was well worth the two hour ride in the cold to come up here to be part of this and I am truly honored.”

With strangers riding and driving hours to be a part of the escort on 9/11 ties in the American strength remembered on 9/11 every year.

Krupski says, “It’s because of America and America coming together that’s what he was all about.”