A welcome home for West Michigan troops and other festivities are on tap for the Thanksgiving holiday, and one of the busiest days of the year at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

On Wednesday, Nov. 23, airport volunteers including therapy dog teams, and the Patriot Guard Riders will participate in “Operation Handshake,” an event to welcome home returning military members and veterans, and to thank them for their service.

Volunteers will staff both airport concourses from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and airport staff will be passing out treats and trinkets to thank passengers for utilizing the airport during the busy time of year.

“We know that not every member of our military can make it home during the holidays, but for those returning to West Michigan we want to make it special and let them know we are thankful for their service,” said GFIA Acting President & CEO Phil Johnson in a press release.

“We appreciate the partnership with the Patriot Guard Riders of West Michigan, and their loyalty to serving our community through events like Operation Handshake.”

The event is free and open to the public.

The airport is currently under construction and cautions lines could be longer than normal. Passengers are encouraged to arrive 90-120 minutes before their flight.

To help keep the line moving through security, stay up-to-date on the latest travel notices and information about what you can or cannot bring on your flight by visiting: www.tsa.gov.