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AMERICAN LEGION T.H.B. POST 187

 

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HONOR FLIGHT CHICAGO 

 Honor Flight Chicago brings WW ll vets out to Washington D.C., at no charge to them, to visit the World War ll Memorial. It is a great organization doing a great job honoring our troops from the Big War. In 2020, Honor Flight Chicago will fly veterans to Washington D.C. Please click on the link below to find out more about their organization and how you can be put on the list for a visit.

 

www.honorflightchicago.org

 

Below is from the Honor Flight Chicago website: 

 

Highlights from our 95th flight, Oct. 2019

We did it! With the completion of our 95th flight this month, the 2019 season is officially in the books. On a dark and rainy day in D.C., 101 veterans traveled to Washington, including a season-high 16 from World War II! Twenty-four Korean War veterans and 61 Vietnam War veterans rounded out the flight.

For the year, we honored 701 veterans – more than 100 per flight! Our final totals: 58 WWII, 263 Korean War and the first 380 Vietnam War veterans in Honor Flight Chicago history.

We are proud of how our volunteers rolled with change this year, especially as it came to construction at Midway. Our partners at the airport were phenomenal to work with, and our various teams were ready to adjust at a moment’s notice. To the veterans themselves, everything went like clockwork. We know because so many of them told us so in their after-flight impact surveys. In fact, of the 298 impact surveys we have received so far this year, more than two-thirds of them specifically mention our volunteers or how well-run the day was!

The October flight was a microcosm of the season in terms of change. The rain chased our itinerary inside, and all adapted quite well. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Women in Military Service For America Memorial for allowing us to host our ceremony indoors in their auditorium. We also owe extra thanks to the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center for allowing us to take our veteran group portrait inside in front of the SR-71 Blackbird.

The “word of the flight” as per one of our stalwart bus captains was “camaraderie.” This flight featured 28 members of the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery Memorial Squad flying as honored veterans. Those flying with their comrades were especially close, and it showed throughout the day, particularly at the Memorials.

We had one veteran on this trip who became ill and was not able to return home with us. During what turned into a multiple-day hospital stay, our Washington D.C. guardians took turns visiting him and keeping him company until he was able to be discharged on Saturday. One of our Chicago red-shirts flew out early Saturday to escort him home, but before their flight our D.C. guardians stepped up again with a personal tour of the Memorials that he had missed on Wednesday. He then received a small welcome back at Midway. Tears flowed easily for him Saturday. It was yet another example of our volunteers coming together and going above-and-beyond for our heroes in such a selfless way.

When we began the season, a little more than 2,000 Vietnam veterans were on our waiting list. As we conclude, that number has swelled to 2,309, meaning that we have added nearly 700 names to the list in just eight months. There is so much more ahead of us and so many veterans still awaiting their Day of Honor!

The first step toward the 2020 season begins in just a few short weeks at our Bourbon Street fundraiser on Sunday, November 10, in Merrionette Park. Tickets and more information are available now at honorflightchicago.org/bourbonstreet. We can’t wait to see you there!

Edna Ho and Doug Meffley
Directors, Honor Flight Chicago 
 
 
 

 

Honor Flight Chicago, the not-for-profit that has over the past 12 years flown more than 8,000 World War II and Korean War veterans to Washington, D.C., free-of-charge to visit the national war memorials built in their honor, announced today it will begin flying Vietnam-era veterans in 2020.

“This is a milestone moment in the history of our organization,” said Mary Pettinato, CEO and co-founder of Honor Flight Chicago. “More importantly, it’s our time to recognize and thank these too-long disrespected heroes who served during one of the most difficult times in America’s history.”

Honor Flight Chicago is currently accepting applications from any Vietnam-era veteran — no matter his or her duty location — who served between Nov. 1, 1955, and May 15, 1975. These veterans will begin to fly alongside World War II and Korean War veterans in April on Honor Flight Chicago’s first flight of the 2020 flight season.

“A camaraderie exists among veterans on this special day that is always magical,” Pettinato said. “To now have three generations of veterans together on one flight will, I’m confident, be an experience that’s especially meaningful to our honored heroes, and truly inspirational to witness.”

There are an estimated 107,500 Vietnam-era veterans living in the Chicago area, according to the National Department of Veteran Affairs, of which close to 1,350 have already filed applications with Honor Flight Chicago in anticipation of this day.

The Vietnam War was the longest war in U.S. history until the Afghanistan War, with active military combat lasting almost 20 years. More than 1.5 million military personnel and an estimated 2 million civilians were killed in the war. The United States suffered over 47,000 killed in action plus another 11,000 noncombat deaths; more than 150,000 were wounded and 10,000 missing.

Honor Flight Chicago flies six flights a year, April through September, honoring an average of 100 senior veterans on every flight. During a full day of recognition and reminiscing in our nation’s capital, veterans have the opportunity to reflect with their comrades in arms at the national World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War Memorials, as well as visit the Lincoln Memorial, and the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum. The day’s adventure concludes back in Chicago with an airport-based Welcome Home Celebration unlike anything most of these heroes experienced decades earlier upon returning from the war.

For additional information or to secure an Honor Flight Chicago veteran application, call 773-227-VETS (8387) or visit https://www.honorflightchicago.org/how-to-apply/veteran.

About Honor Flight Chicago

Honor Flight Chicago is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to recognizing the service and sacrifice of America’s senior war veterans by providing all-expense paid trips for these heroes to visit the Washington, D.C., memorials built in their honor. Founded in 2008, Honor Flight Chicago is the largest hub in the national Honor Flight Network and has flown more veterans than any other hub.