A joyful homecoming celebration is something that many veterans did not receive when they first got home from serving.
Lifelong Naperville resident Herb Nadelhoffer got home and went right back to work.
“When I got out of the army, my brother and I drove back to the farm and I started farming again,” Herb explained.
He’s a former army corporal who spent two years in the 1950s working in counter intelligence.
To thank him, as well as hundreds of other veterans for their service, Honor Flight takes them on a day trip to visit war memorials and museums in Washington DC.
“It was overall, a grade A top flight experience. And I’d do it again, or I’d send my wife next time,” Herb joked. “Anyway I can’t say enough about it, the Honor Flight was wonderful.”
A lot of work went into making it a special day for our veterans, with music in the morning, and a mail call on the flight home, where veterans were surprised with dozens of letters from the community.
When I told Herb that everybody else except the veterans were in on the surprise mail call, he joked, “Except for the dummies. I’m military intelligence but I’m dumb.”
The Honor Fight trip is only made possible by the work of dozens of volunteers and family members.
“Moving one hundred octogenarians can be slow,” said Carl Nadelhoffer, Herb’s nephew who also went to DC. “But nobody was complaining. There was a lot of joking, ‘hurry up and wait, just like in the military.’”
Honor Flight Chicago made for a once-in-a-lifetime trip these veterans and their families won’t ever forget.
Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin
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