Honor Flight Chicago’s Mail Call Honor Flight Chicago will be honoring your dad/mom/loved one/friend/neighbor with an all expense paid trip to Washington DC to see the WWII Memorial –built in their honor. This majestic memorial was completed in 2004, when many of these brave men and women were not physically able to make the trip on their own. Although visiting the memorial is a very important part of the day, the day’s focus is about thanking our veterans for the service and sacrifice they made 65 years ago for the freedoms we enjoy today. Throughout the day, these men and women are overwhelmed by people who want to shake their hand, salute them and just say thanks. Although the veterans relish this recognition, they are even more proud when they are recognized by their own family and friends.
This is the secret part of the day where we need your help… After a day of camaraderie and reminiscing, these veterans think their day‐long exhilarating experience is finally over. On the return flight to Chicago, they drift off to a well‐ deserved sleep. But much as it was in wartime, their day is not over. Waiting for them on the return flight is another surprise, “Mail Call” the same kind of mail call that kept their spirits alive during the war. Specifically this is how you can make the day even more special …. As the primary contact for this veteran, you know the important people in your loved one’s life. Please contact each and every one of them and ask them to write a letter or card of thanks to your veteran for serving this country. Who should you ask? Relatives? Naturally. Friends? Of course. Work colleagues? Definitely. Church/temple friends? Absolutely. Neighbors? You bet! Politicians? Why not?
Please mail your letters/cards/vmail to the following address (nothing larger than a 6” x 9” envelope please): Honor Flight Chicago Mail Call Two Mid America Plaza Route 83 and 22nd Street, Suite 800 Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181 This is the address of a private company’s automated shipping center. It is not possible to contact anyone within this company or within Honor Flight regarding the receipt of the package. It is crucial that we have your veteran’s name prominently displayed on the lower left portion of the envelope and the veteran’s flight date (6‐7‐2011). In order to assemble nearly 10,000 pieces of mail for each flight, it is extremely important that ALL mail is received no later than Thursday, June 2, 2011 so that your personal letter can be bundled with other letters from elected officials and local school children. If you need to have confirmation that your letter was received, please send it via UPS or FEDEX and check the tracking numbers to confirm receipt. Please Note: Our volunteer team who is assembling this mail will not be able to answer any calls to confirm receipt of your letter, as it is being channeled through a receiving department of a private company that has donated this service. We ask that you do not include any food, beverages, confetti or photo albums with your personalized letter or card. If you cannot get the personal letter to us by this date, please keep the mail and slip it into your veteran’s envelope at the Welcome Home Celebration. Please do not mail it directly to the veteran until after the flight since it could ruin the surprise! For many of our veterans, Mail Call is not only the highlight of their day of honor, but it is also a valuable and tangible keepsake of their trip. The following excerpts are just a few examples of mail call letters that we have received in the past. Some of these letters include scanned photos of our senior heroes as they headed off to war as young as 17 years old men in uniform. Other letters include copies of love letters that were sent to their boyfriend during the war—that boyfriend has been their husband for the past 60+ years.
We appreciate your help making our June 7, 2011 the best mail call ever. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT MAIL CALL IS A SECRET! If you have any questions or would like to find out about further opportunities to join our volunteer team, please feel free to visit our website at honorflightchicago.org and view our Emmy‐nominated documentary narrated by Gary Sinise. If I can answer any further questions for you, please feel free to contact me. Tina Yario 77‐612‐2610 Excerpts: “Dear Papa: I was thrilled to hear that you are being recognized for our service to our country in WWII. What a great honor for risking everything and exhibiting bravery during the war effort—an effort that had so much to do with the freedoms we enjoy today.” “You have been father, grandfather, friend‐our shoulder to cry on‐our pillar of strength and wisdom‐for these things we truly love you. There is one thing however that we forget to thank you for‐that is our freedom. Without this freedom, we would be unable to walk our dogs at night, listen to the music of our choice, pray to our God, vote for the best candidate….” “You may not remember me, but I’m the guy you caught in the basement drinking beer with your teen aged daughter…. “ Although I was just a young man then, I realize that when you were that age, you were halfway around the world defending our country. REMEMBER—MAIL MUST ARRIVE NO LATER THAN 6‐2‐2011 in order to be included in the infamous Mail Call!