Marty Bilecki vividly remembers important events from the past. But his recent Honor Flight Chicago Day of Honor trip to Washington, D.C., might rival anything from the “good old days,” he said.

His Washington visit brought back memories of growing up before World War II and his military experience overseas during the Cold War occupation of Germany. From 1953-55, Marty was an Army PFC serving as a Military Police officer in Augsburg, Germany, providing town patrol in southern and central Germany.

Marty’s expectations for the Day of Honor trip were surpassed by the end of the day. He was “overwhelmed” by volunteers at the departure from Chicago and upon his arrival in Washington. “It’s good knowing so many people still care,” he said. “I thought the vets were not appreciated anymore.”

Being asked about the Welcome Home Celebration at Midway Airport brought back more memories. Marty recalled “celebrating the end of World War II in our Chicago neighborhood and my return to that same neighborhood after my service.”

Marty was impressed after “seeing so many people come out that evening to honor us. I’m very proud now to have received so many good Americans’ comments. Especially the younger generation. I loved seeing them all at the Welcome Home party,” he said.

After offering a “Big Thanks” to all who made the day so memorable. Marty said that, because of his trip, another family member was poised to make Honor Flight Chicago memories of his own: Marty’s son-in-law James, a nurse, was about to take an Honor Flight Chicago trip to Washington as a medical guardian.