A Home & Away Salute

Nov 2, 2012   //   by admin   //   Events, News, Photo, Video  //  2 Comments

Each season, the USO Illinois honors military veterans by giving them a moment on the field at the home games of the Chicago Bears and the Blackhawks. This year that tradition continues and expands as we partner with Boeing and the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic to create an avenue for active and retired military and their families, sports fans and civilians who are not in attendance at the game to share their support for U.S. armed forces personnel. Throughout the campaign, supporters can share their personal tribute by sending a message of gratitude and posting a salute – a simple gesture of thanks – at our Facebook page.

To highlight the importance of these salutes, we will share several videos that showcase the heart felt wishes of ordinary civilians and first-person reflections from veterans who give their personal thanks to those who serve as well as their own unique perspectives on the meaning of service to one’s country. All videos will be shared in the days leading up to Veterans Day on Nov. 11.

Be sure to check our Facebook page to see photos from Chicagoans those who care. Share and download the videos and let our servicemen and women know that you are their biggest fans!


We Support the Troops

Home & Away

Orignal Score composed by Orbert Davis,

Performed by Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic

Chicago jazz musician and Emmy Award-winning composer, Orbert Davis, and his 55-piece jazz symphonic orchestra, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, present this 4-track EP “Home and Away” in celebration of our veterans and active-duty servicemen and women.

The music will be available for purchase and download on CDbaby.com, the iTunes store and at www.chijazzphil.org/homeandaway. It will also be made available through the Boeing Store. Proceeds from every purchase will go to support America’s troops and their families through the USO of Illinois.



  • What is the process for selecting military veterans to be on the field at the home games of the Chicago Bears and the Blackhawks?

  • I grew up a Blackhawks fan in Des Plaines IL. I went to Maine West HS and to the USAF Academy Class of 1988. After pilot training I remained at Vance AFB as a T-37 initial jet Instructor Pilot. I began flying the C-5 Galaxy in 1993 on active duty and still fly it to this day in the San Antonio reserve unit at Lackland AFB since 1998. I have been involved in every major conflict since 1993. I have over 100 combat and combat support sorties. In 1993, I brought reinforcements directly from the US to Mogadishu hours after the shoot down of our helicopters. We aerial refueled 4 times on that mission to get support to the troops on the ground. I have flown medical evacuation missions and, unfortunately, human remains out of Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. I have also commanded humanitarian missions supporting Kosovo, Rwanda, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guam, and in support of the evacuation after Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina. I have commanded many Presidential Support missions. I have safely recovered C-5’s with major malfunctions or an engine shutdown dozens of times. I hope you would consider me for being on the ice this season at a Blackhawks game as the active service member during the singing of the national anthem. I think it is a great program and I would be honored to be part of it!

    Thanks for all you do and I will be visiting the Bagram AB USO this Saturday while in Afghanistan.

    Lt Col Jeff Schmidt

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