Mecosta Business Owner Given Mid-Michigan Honor Flight Award

A community member was awarded on Saturday for his help in making a memorable dream come true for veterans.

Every year, the Mid-Michigan Honor Flight takes dozens of veterans to Washington D.C. to see memorials built to honor their sacrifice and service; and it wouldn’t be possible without many volunteers.

“We have something for you for all the wonderful things you’ve done in the community,” said hub director Tricia Donegan. “Not just for Honor Flight but for everyone else.”

Ed Richter, owner of Lakeside Motor Sports, was awarded the “Heart of a Hero” award by what’s now known as the Mid-Michigan Honor Flight Mob Squad.

They surprise people throughout the community who they consider unsung heroes.

“We’re going to be on mission nine and ten this year, so that means for eight missions he’s donated a trailer for us to bring 25 wheelchairs to our staging site where we house our honorees for the flight,” said Tricia.

For the last 5 years, Ed has done whatever he could to make the flight as smooth as possible.

“We want to help the veterans,” said Ed. “They did us a great job and they served us and now the least we can do is serve them and give back to them.”

Honoring America’s heroes like Vietnam veteran John Re who will be going on his first Honor Flight in two weeks.

“It is an honor first of all and it takes guys like Ed and people like him to be able to get us on these kind of flights,” said John. “I mean it’s quite an honor, I’ve been looking forward to for a couple years.”

So what seems like something small for Ed, means the world to dozens of veterans.

“When we try to show our appreciation, he’d kind of brush us off and say no, no, no I wasn’t a veteran, but I certainly honor and respect everything they stand for,” said Tricia.

“There’s more people that deserve this a lot better than I do but I do appreciate it very, very much,” said Ed.