Huntley WWII Veteran Heading to Capital on Honor Flight
Huntley man taking flight next month to Washington, D.C.
Al Jordi never thought he would make it out to Washington, D.C., to see the World War II memorial dedicated to the men and women of the Greatest Generation.
Then the Huntley native learned he will be one of the World War II veterans on a Nov. 2 Honor Flight.
“I was excited and shocked,” Al Jordi said. “I am getting .. emotional.”
“We are thrilled to death,” said Alice Jordi, Al’s wife. “This is probably the only chance he had to go.”
Jordi was drafted in August 1944. He had just graduated from Huntley High School that May. He entered the Army in January 1945.oel
“I was a kid, 18 years old, and never had been away from home,” said Jordi, who was born and raised in Huntley. “I was a green guy.”
He did his basic training in Fort Sheridan, then he was reassigned to a few posts before being sent to the island of Saipan, north of Guam. Jordi was a stenographer with the unit, working as secretary to the inspector general. He had learned shorthand from his high school teacher, Hannah Martin, he said.
His unit was scheduled to be part of the invasion of Japan but the war ended. Jordi did not see any direct action.
Jordi returned home after the war and worked at his grandfather’s grocery store, Kahl’s, in Huntley. His family has been in town for 100 years. He later went on to work at Union Special for 33 years. He also worked at JCPenney for 20 years.
The couple, who've been married 57 years, raised their two children, Dawn and Shane, in Huntley. Dawn and her husband, Kevin Ellison, live in Huntley; Shane and his wife, Debbie, live in Marengo. Al and Alice, who is originally from Iowa, have one grandchild, Katy and a new grandson-in-law, Kevin Tugel.
Recently, Jordi attended a meeting about the Honor Flight. The organization is a nonprofit that takes World War II veterans to Washington for the day. According to the organization’s website, America is losing World War II veterans at a rate of about 1,000 a day.
“Honor Flight Network will continue to do whatever it takes to fulfill the dreams of our veterans and help our senior heroes travel absolutely free,” the site states.
Honor Flight Network covers all the expenses and assigned caretakers for each veteran. Among the sites is the World War II memorial, which opened a few years ago, Alice Jordi said. She will not be able to attend but said she does not mind.
Jordi was surprised to hear back so soon that his application was approved.
He is not sure how it will feel to finally be in Washington, D.C. to see the World War II memorial, but he’s looking forward to his trip next month.