Last Thursday, my friend Barb and I had the pleasure of escorting two World War II veterans to a Bears game. That’s us above with Bill and Bill. As far as dates go, Barb and I hit the jackpot. The Bills were perfect gentlemen and we all had an amazing and special night. The activity was an Honor Flight Chicago event. The Bears gave us tickets to the game that included access to the United Club, a “hospitality area” in the stadium that serves amazing cocktails and beer and gourmet food that you could either eat in the (climate-controlled) dining area or take to your cozy cushioned seat. We all felt a little spoiled by the services, the amazing food (hello freshly carved barbeque beef brisket on a challah roll!) and the spacious seating. We ate inside before the game, and then came back inside to meet up with the other volunteers and veterans at half-time. Otherwise, we were outside enjoying a great game (lots of scoring and a WIN for the Bears!) on a perfectly cool August night in Chicago. I mean…isn’t that a gorgeous view?During the game, George McCaskey came over to thank Bill and Bill for their service to our country. Both veterans were floored at this visit…as were all of the people around us. It was a really great moment in their night. Our “seat neighbor” during the game has been a season ticket holder for five years. He was so kind to Bill and Bill. He helped us safely assist the two Bills up and down the stairs and chatted to them about their service and Soldier Field and he was just a downright great guy. Thanks Season Ticket Holder Section 311 Row 6 Seats 13 & 14!
One really funny/scary moment in the night occurred as we were entering Soldier Field. We were going through the ticket gates and (tall) Bill didn’t have his ticket. He explained to the ticket-taker that Barb had it. Barb had already gone through the gate and I reminded Bill that I had given him his ticket in the parking garage. He shook his head and said that I hadn’t given him a ticket. For a moment, I was questioning my own sanity, but then Barb came over and said she had seen me handing off the ticket to Bill. We thought maybe he had dropped it by the car or something. We had all entered through the gate but Bill, and you can’t re-enter once your ticket has been scanned, so we had a small moment of panic. No one wanted Bill to walk alone all the way back to the car to look for his ticket. I felt regretful that I had allowed Bill to be a gentleman and let me go first. But then, Bill went into his pocket and protested, “This sheet of paper is the only thing you gave me outside!” IT WAS HIS TICKET!! He just didn’t realize it was a paper-printed ticket (instead of the “real” tickets he was used to). The ticket-taker hugged him, I hugged her and we all breathed a huge sigh of relief that we were able to go inside without anymore drama and worry.
We all had a great time and I really felt honored to be able to spend the evening with Bill and Bill. When we dropped them off, they hugged us both and thanked us for choosing them to go…it was the least we could do. We have so much more to thank them for.