Illinois’ first female honor flight takes off via Southwest Airlines from Midway Airport

CHICAGO (WLS) — An honor flight out of Halfway Airport made historical past Wednesday as the primary to be all-women in Illinois.

Honor flights are particular missions that take army veterans to Washington, D.C. to honor their service to the nation.

On Wednesday morning, it was all girls onboard.

This comes after a year-long delay because of the COVID pandemic.

Ninety three feminine veterans had been on the flight.

That is Illinois’ first honor flight completely for ladies.

RELATED: 1st Honor Flight in nearly 2 years takes off for Washington DC with 113 heroes on board

“My army service is a part of me … I’m pleased with serving,” Military veteran Denise Carson mentioned. “Weapons specialist and a motor pool sergeant, so sure I used to be in cost.”

They may take part in a day-long all-expense-paid journey to Washington to go to monuments.

The group contains World Struggle II, Korea and Vietnam veterans, ranging in age from 63 to 104.
Rochelle Crump is a Vietnam vet. She helped manage this.

“I checked out, had been there any girls there? And there was at all times like one or two,” Crump mentioned. “They by no means actually shined a lightweight on them due to the domination of the males.”

The taking part veterans all lived in Illinois once they served, however now they hail from everywhere in the Chicago space and the state.

“Final yr we had been all excited, after which we had been upset, you realize, due to the pandemic. So being right here at the moment, we’re all excited,” Crump mentioned. “That is like their parade. , lots of them haven’t had a parade earlier than.”

Some traveled so far as California and Arkansas, and so they mentioned they’re simply joyful to be linked to 1 one other.

A lot of them have by no means been honored in this type of means.

“It’s totally thrilling and really humbling. I do not assume I deserve it, however that is gonna be enjoyable,” Vietnam veteran Kay Akins mentioned. “I feel it is gonna be very transferring. I am wanting ahead to the ladies’s army museum.”

This flight is a part of “Operation HerStory,” an initiative devoted to highlighting the important contributions of feminine veterans.

“All the ladies within the army need to put up with male chauvinism … however for the ladies that got here earlier than us, they needed to cope with a lot extra,” girls’s Military Corps member Denise Carson mentioned.

The ladies mentioned they’re the voice of the previous and the longer term.

The particular flight is chartered by Southwest Airways.

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