During the very early morning hours of Wednesday, June 19, four Korean War Veterans and 108 Vietnam War Veterans boarded Southwest Airlines for an Honor Flight trip to Washington, D.C.

Among them was Joliet’s very own Vietnam Veteran, Gary Stieg, above with his family and right with Veronica Konow, the Jr. Vice Commander and Finance Officer for Joliet American Legion Post 1080, in addition to having been the former Commander.

Gary served in the U.S. Army, followed by years in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.

After a memorable day, which included a visit to the National World War II Memorial, below, the 112 Veterans returned to Chicago-Midway for a “welcome home” ceremony. During the ceremony, Veterans were treated to a military medley performed by the Frankfort Brass Band under the direction of Mr. Michael Orenic. A crowd offered signs, balloons, cheers, handshakes, hugs, and an occasional salute from one veteran to another.

Most memorable is the reaction of the Veterans: their smiles, tears, astonishment, and gratitude, all of which were genuine from the bottom of their hearts.

Veronica Konow


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