Honor Flight Chicago (HFC) was founded in 2008 to recognize America’s senior war veterans by flying them to Washington, D.C. to tour the memorials built in their honor. The one-day, all-expense paid trip is filled with appreciation, tributes, memories and gratitude.
Many veterans form new bonds with one another during the day. Countless more confess their lives are rejuvenated afterward. It is only one day, but the experience can be life changing.
HFC currently organizes seven flights per year from April through October; each carries approximately 100 veterans. Through 2016, HFC has flown 75 flights and honored 6,686 veterans.
HFC is a 501(c)(3) organization and part of a nationwide network of Honor Flight hubs, yet each operates independently. HFC has flown more veterans than any hub and is a standard bearer for others to emulate.
Each honor flight day begins long before sunrise. Veterans arrive at 4 a.m. to Chicago’s Midway International Airport, and for the next 16-plus hours, they are treated as heroes everywhere they go.
Many veterans ask if health conditions will prevent them from experiencing any aspect of the day. The answer is no. This day is for them, and HFC works with veterans and their families to ensure their comfort and safety.
Veterans are in Washington, D.C. for approximately 10 hours. During that time, the group tours a variety of our nation’s most inspirational memorials, including:
- World War II
- Korean War
- Vietnam War
- Lincoln Memorial
- Air Force Memorial
- Marine Corps War Memorial
The group also stops at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center. Then it is back to Chicago, where an inspiring surprise awaits.