A hero's welcome! A homecoming parade! A thank you!

After a day-long trip to Washington, D.C. to see the war memorials, reflect on their armed forces days, and remember their comrades, 95 women were greeted by proud family, friends and complete strangers as they walked or were wheel-chaired down a corridor with their uniformed baby-face Navy escorts. It was the airport arrival of the historic first-ever Honor Flight for women. 

Jane Moyers of Sandwich, who served as a Navy nurse in Vietnam. couldn’t be found, swallowed up in the throngs of patriotic people, young and old. 

However Betty Horstman, who will turn 100 in two months, could speak for all the women.

Vietnam Army veteran Roger Treend from Yorkville was there.

Anthony Cella, Senior Commander of American Legion Post 49 Yorkville, was part of the honor guard which filed by to form a hallway arch of red, white, and blue American flags. He was waiting for one special Vietnam veteran.

Expressing the sentiments of the day, Army vet Debbie Emery, who grew up in Braidwood beamed the biggest smile.

Lots of Hugs, smiles, waves, clapping and cheers. 

Homemade signs, balloons, and miniature USA flags everywhere.

You can listen to Mark Harrington's radio story by clicking below: