Operation HerStory recognizes the contributions of women to the country’s history.
Ninety-three women were on board the flight to see the war memorials in Washington D.C., all sisters in arms. Vietnam Veterans, Korean War and World War II veterans were treated like heroes.
The flight was supposed to happen last October but was delayed due to the pandemic. The anticipation of the historic flight built up over the year.
There are two World War II veterans on the flight.
Bette Horstmann, who will turn 100-years-old in December, was a physical therapist during the war and said she looked forward to seeing the war memorials. She said her secret to life is staying active.
Brigadier General Patricia Wallace accompanied the women. Even though she is the highest ranking officer on board, she said she felt like "one of the girls."
"It's just family. It's like once you're in a uniform no matter what age you're always a soldier. And we always have something to talk about. People are so loving and opening. And in this time, in the environment that we're in we need that. So just come in, just fall in and you're just one of the girls," Wallace said.
Women have been on previous flights with male veterans. Organizers say historically, women filled clerical and medical duties during wartime and did not realize they qualified to go on honor flights or they gave up their seat so that men could go.
The Illinois Department of Veteran's Affairs counts 7,500 women veterans in the state.
The veterans are spending the day in the nation’s capital and return to Chicago Wednesday night.