On June 3, 2015 I had the honor and privilege to fly my Dad, Richard W. Schaubert, and other WWII Veterans on the Honor Flight Chicago from Washington Dulles to Chicago Midway.
My Dad served in the 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne during WWII, and was stationed in Frankfort, Germany. I am forever grateful for the bravery and sacrifices of my Dad and all veterans who made possible all our freedoms of the United States.
Growing up, I was blessed with a wonderful family. My Dad always took time out of his busy work schedule to go on family vacations, coach baseball, and take us fishing. He often talked about his experience in the Army as a Paratrooper. Being young at the time, I asked him, “Why would anyone want to jump out of a perfectly running airplane?”
My Dad was also instrumental in my decision to become a Pilot. While I always had wanted to fly, I pursued another career, with lingering hopes of flying “someday.” After becoming established in computer programming and systems analysis, I began second-guessing pursing my dream career. One day, I spoke with my Dad about my passion for flying; his response, “Pursue your passion; if you don’t, you will always wonder.” That next week I resigned and flew full time to receive my ratings. It was the best advice I had ever received, and a decision I don’t regret.
My Dad said the Honor Flight Chicago was an experience he will never forget. The reception was both touching and overwhelming with family, friends, and people he had never met wanting to shake his hand, salute him, and thank him for his service.
It is a day I will always remember as well. Not only did I have the privilege to be a part of the Honor Flight Chicago, but it was an additional privilege because my Dad was on the flight, along with my sister as his guardian.
I want to take this Father’s Day to thank Dad and let him know that I consider myself very fortunate and blessed to be living my passion, meeting new People, and creating special experiences every day.
Southwest Airlines is a proud supporter of Honor Flight Network, donating $400,000 in travel annually to ensure our Veterans see the memorials built in their honor. Chicago Honor Flight is actively recruiting and signing up WWII veterans to fly this season for their day of honor. For a WWII Veteran application, call 773-227-8387 or go to honorflightchicago.org.