Veterans and their immediate family members will have an opportunity this month to take a free, two-hour boat trip on Lake Itasca.

Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 38 of Park Rapids is providing the trip on board the 141-passenger Chester Charles II on Thursday, Sept. 19.

“We’re just trying to recognize veterans and promote the DAV a little bit,” said DAV member Greg Remus.

Dennis Strange, also a DAV member, added that veterans will be able to get a free day pass into Itasca State Park by announcing they are going on the DAV boat ride.

The paddleboat loads at 11 a.m. and departs at 11:30 a.m. from the Douglas Lodge pier. A box lunch will be provided.

“We picked September because we think that the leaves are going to be changing, and it would be a nice time to get out and it’s not going to be too cold,” said Remus. Knocking on wood, he added, “It’s not going to rain that day. We know that.”

Strange and Remus acknowledged that Coborn’s Lake Itasca Tours, owner of the Chester Charles II, is providing the boat to the DAV at minimum cost.

To reserve a seat on the trip, call Jeff Siebert no later than Sunday, Sept. 15 at 255-0489.

“This is going to be pretty cool,” said Remus, noting that the boat trip is a first-time event for the Park Rapids DAV. “We do a lot in the community. We help out with Living at Home and the DAC adult day care. We’ve got the van that goes to Fargo and Bemidji. Now, this is something we’re putting out there and saying, ‘Let’s just recognize veterans.’ You don’t have to be a member.”