Ride Report for Ride Captain RJ
They don’t call them “The Greatest Generation” for nothing and spending time with World War II veterans is always a special event. Showing them our appreciation is a small gesture that means everything to them and touches us in unexpected ways.  There is always a palpable excitement in the air waiting for them to return from one of the Honor Flights.
Veteran’s Network Committee and Honor Flight McHenry asked us to escort one such group from Milwaukee’s General Mitchell Airport to a celebration being held for them in Cary, IL, a 75 mile trip, one way.  Add to that a stop in Libertyville, IL to pick up some more riders and you’d have thought this ride would have few volunteers.  And you’d have been wrong.
At least 30 of us met at an Oasis on the Tri-State Tollway about 25 miles south of the Illinois-Wisconsin border. The one-hour trip to the airport was uneventful (ever-present road construction notwithstanding) and we were shown to a staging area by Milwaukee County Sheriffs, where more riders and a few cages joined us.  We assembled flags and proceeded into the terminal for a flag line reception accompanied by a 27-piece band and family members waiting for their heroes.
We greeted, we thanked, we hugged.  They were tearful, they were speechless, they felt unworthy.  After a small welcoming ceremony we went to mount up and they to board their buses.
A 90 minute trip (should’ve been an hour) to our rendezvous point/pit stop in Libertyville, IL brought some new riders onboard as we continued another 30 minutes to Wool Street Bar & Grill in Cary, IL where a flag-waving crowd waited.  Inside, we listened to comments by the organizers, made a few of our own, one of our newest members handed out beads she made herself and then we departed.
These guys are a national treasure and we’re losing about 900 a day. They are truly The Greatest Generation. God bless each and every one of them.