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      Journey begins for mother of fallen soldier

      Starla Owens left Sunday morning for Washington D.C. to honor Sergeant Kyle White, who served alongside her son Joseph overseas.

      Sergeant White is receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions in battle. He also escorted Owens's son's body back home to Ludington.

      The Medal of Honor is the highest award given for serving our country. It's only presented by the President.

      Owens is able to go thanks to funding from the Mason County Veterans and Endowment Fund, the Grand Traverse Area Veterans Coalition, Rolling Thunder, and other personal and private donors. Congressman Dan Benishek also helped in the planning of the trip.

      "Very emotional for her," said Calvin Murphy of Rolling Thunder. "She knows Kyle, and that he was a good friend of her sons. And the relationship that they had - it means a lot. And it's kind of bittersweet being it Mother's Day to leave today too. Joseph, her son, was her only son and he died at a very early age at 21."

      The ceremony takes place Tuesday.

      The public is invited and encouraged to surprise Owens coming home at Cherry Capital Airport.