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Lansing veteran returns from first completed 2023 Honor Flight


LANSING, Ill. (May 10, 2023) – In spite of the 18-hour day that started before sunrise, Lansing veteran Bill Benne was all smiles as he got out of his car in the parking lot of Sunrise Health Foods. The crowd that greeted him included 15 Legion Riders, two Trustees, 4 police officers, and miscellaneous family and friends.

Lansing veteran
Lansing Veteran Bill Benne was greeted by a crowd of appreciative supporters after his day with Honor Flight Chicago. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Benne had spent the day in Washington DC as part of the 107th Honor Flight from Chicago. The day is designed to recognize veterans and give them an opportunity to be escorted to the various memorials and museums constructed in their honor. The first 2023 flight had been planned for April, but dangerous weather in DC forced a cancellation. Most of the April veterans were rescheduled to this May flight.

Milt Stennis, another Lansing veteran, was also on the trip, though at the end of his long day he didn’t stop for the welcome home party.

Lansing veteran
At Midway Airport early Wednesday morning, Honor Flight participants Bill Benne (left) and Milt Stennis receive instructions from fellow Lansing resident and Honor Flight Volunteer Maureen Grady-Perovich. (Photos provided)
Lansing veteran
Bill Benne’s brother-in-law Tony Delaurentis (right) was there to greet him. Delaurentis had participated in Honor Flight in 2021. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
“Everything was amazing,” said Benne. “Just, really, amazing.” (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Around 10:30 p.m. the Legion Riders mounted their bikes, and Lansing police stopped traffic on Torrence Avenue to allow the bikers to escort Benne home:


Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.


  1. Lansing Fire Department was there to meet our veterans but were not in the photo!
    Honor Flight Chicago has 5 more flights this flight season. If anyone needs more information regarding Honor Flight Chicago they can contact me at [email protected] or go directly to the Honor Flight Chicago website at honorflightchicago.org
    Follow Honor Flight Chicago on their Facebook page!
    Thank you for your service Milton and Bill…and WELCOME HOME!
    Dr. Maureen Grady Perovich

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