On Wednesday 07 August, Honor Flight Chicago brought WWII veterans to Washington, DC. This was the 50th time they made this trip. So far over 4000 WWII as well as some Korea and Vietnam veterans have been treated to a day touring their war memorials. This service is provided at no cost to the veterans. All expenses are covered through donations and fundraising by the local hub (Honor Flight Chicago).
A short service is held during the visit to the WW II memorial. A multi-service military honor guard presents the colors and taps is played.
The Korea, Vietnam and Lincoln memorials are also on the schedule of stops. A visit to the Udvar Hazy Air and Space museum completes the tour. The museum holds a special interest for many of the veterans. Here they can see once again many of the aircraft they had become familiar with during their service.
Each veteran is assigned a Guardian – a volunteer – who accompanies him/her throughout the day. The Guardian ensures the veteran is well taken care of and helps to make the day as enjoyable and meaningful as possible.
At the end of the day, in the Dulles airport local swing dancers often provide entertainment while the veterans are waiting for the departure flight. You might think after a full day of flying and touring, the veterans would be dozing off. While some might, others are taking advantage of the opportunity to show off their moves on the dance floor.
The smiles on the faces of both veterans and volunteers marks the end of another successful Honor Flight.