Final Honor Flight Chicago Trip of the 2012 Season Today

CHICAGO, 2012-10-25 — / — A total of 86 World War II veterans from the Chicago area were at Midway International Airport this morning for what some have called “a dream flight.”

This was the tenth and final flight of the 2012 season for Honor Flight Chicago to Washington D.C. to visit the WWII Memorial. Honor Flight Chicago and Southwest Airlines facilitate the trips, with help from the United Service Organizations (USO) of Illinois volunteers.

While in the nation’s capital today, the veterans experienced a day of reflection and remembrance for many veterans who have waited more than 60 years to see the WWII Memorial. The veterans will also visit the Iwo Jima, Lincoln, Korean and Vietnam memorials.

Over the past five years, Honor Flight Chicago has made 45 trips to the nation’s Capitol and sponsored over 3,900 World War II veterans on the flights.

Mary Pettinato, CEO of Honor Flight Chicago said, “There are still about 22,000 World War II veterans in the area that we would like to contact for our upcoming travel season, beginning in spring 2013”.

WLS-TV reporter Paul Meincke and crew attended this morning’s departure celebration to cover a personal story about Porter Cross, 87, a Navy Seaman who served in the Pacific Theater from 1943 to 1946. Meincke shared the Englewood man’s story on ABC 7’s 5 p.m. newscast.

As always, the traveling veterans, their guardians and Honor Flight Chicago volunteers received a rousing send-off by the vocal trio “Legacy Girls,” who pay tribute to the well-known Andrew Sisters. The Legacy Girlsperform popular songs of the World War II era and do roll-call for all branches of the Armed Services. Midway Airport Concessions (MAC One) provided breakfast sandwiches, coffee and juice for the veterans before boarding their plane.

Hundreds of family, friends and supporters are expected to welcome the veterans when they return to Midway this evening. In addition, dozens of active duty military personnel; the USO of Illinois; and

Chicago Police Department Pipes and Drums Corps will participate in the arrival festivities.

For more information about Honor Flight Chicago, please visit


A "Legacy Girl" greets WWII veterans at Midway

A “Legacy Girl” greets WWII veterans at Midway

Guardian Bruce Rylance talks to Navy Seaman William Dise and Navy Cook Henry Compers

Guardian Bruce Rylance talks to Navy Seaman William Dise and Navy Cook Henry Compers