First all-women veteran honor flight from Illinois makes history

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The first all-women special mission taking military veterans from Illinois to Washington, D.C. to honor their service to the country is set to take off Wednesday.

The group, which includes World War II, Korea and Vietnam-area veterans will leave Chicago Midway International Airport Wednesday morning on an all-expense day trip to Washington D.C. to visit monuments. Two women who will be aboard the flight said they're proud be part of the historic trip.

Vietnam-era veteran Ginny Narsete said she enrolled in the military to earn money for college and became an administrative assistant because she could type "really fast." But women were limited to clerical work when Narsete enrolled, she said, adding that some still don't realize the significance of their work.

"A lot of women wanted to relinquish their seat for a man," Narsete said. "They said, 'that guy's more important than me.' So I'm changing that attitude. You're just as important because you raised your hand."

Another Vietnam-era veteran, Rochelle Crump, said women who served in the military "answered the switchboards and talked to people all over the world."

Narsete co-founded Operation HerStory, an organization that helps arrange honor flights for women veterans, a couple of years ago. Crump helped organize what will be Illinois' first-ever all-women's honor flight to Washington, D.C. More than 100 showed up for a party.

"I looked, were there any women there, and there was always one or two and it never really shined a light on them because of the domination of the males," Crump said.
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