Wednesday, July 12
LANSING, Ill. (July 13, 2023) – Retired Army Colonel Bill Altgilbers got to spend Wednesday, July 12, in Washington DC as part of Honor Flight Chicago. With other Vietnam-era veterans, Altgilbers toured the memorials and accepted thanks and respect throughout the day.
Whenever a Lansing resident is on Honor Flight Chicago, the American Legion Riders from Edward Schultz Chapter 697 volunteer to escort that veteran home at the end of the day. Honor Flight participants typically are driven from Midway to Lansing by family. Members of the Legion Riders, Lansing Police Department, and Lansing Fire Department meet them at Sunrise Health Foods (17650 Torrence Avenue), near the Torrence exit. After a brief welcome in the parking lot, the veterans are given a hero’s escort home with sirens, lights, and entourage.
Because Altgilbers is an active member of Lansing’s American Legion, the Legion got special permission to serve as the flag line for his return to Midway Airport. They lined the corridors and were in place to greet him personally at the end of his day of honor.
“My dad was so touched by everyone being there,” Crystale Pierce posted on Facebook.
Following the reception at Midway, Altgilbers, Pierce, and the Legion members drove to Lansing, stopping at Sunrise, where members of the community were waiting to welcome Altgilbers home. The group posed for a photo before continuing to the Legion, this time with a police escort:
Members of the Legion Auxiliary had organized a party in the lower level of the Legion, giving family and friends an opportunity to hear about Altgilbers’ Honor Flight experience.
The American Legion Edward Schultz Chapter 697 is located at 18255 Grant Street in Lansing, Illinois.
Related: A look at Honor Flight
- A Day of Honor (September 2019 article)
Related: What Honor Flight Chicago is all about