CHICAGO (WBBM) – A group that honors World War II veterans with free flights to Washington D.C. says time is running out to get as many vets as possible to see their memorial.

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Honor Flight Chicago started two and a half years ago and, since then, more than 2,000 World War II veterans have received the hero’s treatment with a one-day trip to D.C. to visit the World War II Memorial and other D.C. sites.

Mary Pettinato, the head of Honor Flight Chicago, says there are 1,547 veterans on a waiting list with more applications arriving each day.

Pettinato says the average age of those on the waiting list is 88 years so collecting donations for future trips has a real urgency. There are an estimated 25,000 World War II veterans in the Chicago area.

87-year old Navy vet Norm Lasman made the trip last year and says, he’d “never had so many people thanking me for something I did 65 years ago”.

Lasman says the Honor Flight Chicago trip changed his life.

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