Illinois Veterans’ First Honor Flight to Washington, DC Takes Off from Chicago Midway International Airport

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CHICAGO (WLS) – Illinois’ first all-female honor flight to Washington, DC, took off from Chicago Midway International Airport on Wednesday.

Vietnam War veteran Rochelle Crump helped organize the historic flight.

“It’s amazing, I think all the women are thrilled to be a part of it,” Crump said.

For the 93 women who took part in the flight, Crump said the event “is like their parade” because many did not originally have a parade. Participants range from 63 to 104 years old, including veterans who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Crump added that many people thanked the women for their service and asked questions, learning to “understand that women are serving now too.”

Another Vietnam War veteran, Kay Akins, said she was excited to visit Washington, DC

“I think it will be very emotional to wait for the Women’s Military Museum,” Akins said. “I am excited to see all I can.”

The trip was organized by Operation HerStory, an organization that helps organize honor flights for female veterans. Army veteran Denise Carson said she came to the organization because of the women who joined the military before her. She said these women opened up opportunities for her to take up non-traditional jobs in the military.

“They had no voice,” Carson said. “It is up to those of my generation, the younger generation to be that voice for all of us. It is our responsibility.”

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