Over the last 12 years, Honor Flight Chicago has flown nearly 9,000 veterans to visit the war memorials in Washington, D.C., and this fall they hope to add 100 more.
Of the more than 7,000 senior women veterans here in Illinois, less than three percent have ever been on an honor flight. On Sunday, the state's top veteran organizations announced that for the first time they are adding an all-female flight to honor the women who served our country. It's called: "Operation HerStory."
"So many of these women just didn't think they were deserving. They would often give up their spots on the honor flights, saying, 'give it to someone who saw combat. They deserve it more than me,'" Operation Her Story Chair Ginny Narsete said.
As a retired Air Force master sergeant, Narsete was determined to change their sentiments.
"We see you today. You are not invisible. You deserve to be honored," she said to the senior women vets gathered at the Pritzker Military Museum. "This is your honor flight."
The landmark flight will depart Midway on October 7 to bring the female veterans to Washington, D.C. While they're there, they will be escorted through the national monuments, including those dedicated to the women who served their country.
"This trip will be one day, but this one day will be life-changing," Honor Flight Chicago President, John Ptak said.
Any veterans who served between 1940 and 1975 looking to join Operation HerStory can apply at operationherstory.org.