Tom Quinn thought he was prepared for his Honor Flight Chicago trip to Washington, D.C. Like many veterans, he had heard stories about it.

Now that his trip is over, he has some important advice for those yet to go.

“I would tell every veteran I know that it is an experience of a lifetime,” Tom said. “I would tell each one of my fellow vets that the people of America are giving you a very special thank you for serving your country. You deserve this honor. Do not miss out.”

Tom was a corporal in the Marine Corps during the Korean War, serving in a Fire Detection Center. He plotted topography maps and sent coordinates for missile launches into battle. It was no surprise that a highlight of his Honor Flight Chicago trip to Washington was seeing the Korean War Memorial.

But when asked what was the most memorable part of the day, Tom said there were “so many memorable things that we experienced it is very difficult to pick only one.” Every stop the veterans made that day, including the visits to the World War II and Vietnam War memorials, was, in Tom’s words, “special unto itself.”

And what about coming home to the welcome at Midway Airport, and meeting up with his family? “Overwhelming,” Tom said.

The Korean War has often been called The Forgotten War. One of Honor Flight Chicago’s ongoing goals is to ensure that the veterans who fought there will always be remembered and appreciated for their service.

“I served 65 years ago,” Tom said. “I never would have believed that so many people really cared. And to all the volunteers, staff, organizers, and anyone associated with the program, thank you. Well done.”