Herschel Luckinbill likes to say he has a full-time volunteer job.
Luckinbill, who lives in Montgomery, dedicates virtually all of his time to helping the area’s veterans. He volunteers with Honor Flight Chicago, a non-profit organization that flies veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the memorials erected in their honor. And he organizes the regular veterans breakfasts at Grandma’s Table.
Recently, he’s launched two other initiatives, and they keep building steam.
On June 3, Luckinbill and Honor Flight will bring Nashville recording artist Ricky Lee to the Paramount Theatre in Aurora for a pair of benefit concerts. The goal, he said, is to raise enough money to send 200 World War II vets to Washington—each trip costs about $50,000, and Honor Flight Chicago has about 1,000 veterans on a waiting list for flights.
Ricky Lee has four albums, and a fifth, Live in the Moment, coming out soon. His songs have a streak of patriotism that appeals to Luckinbill, and made him an ideal choice for this show. Lee even has a section on his website dedicated to companies that hire American workers, and encourages his listeners to “buy 100% American made products.”
Both shows of the Made in America Tour will take place on June 3, at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Opening the shows will be Chicago’s Legacy Girls, who sing in the style of the Andrews Sisters, and have performed at Honor Flight events for years. Tickets for the fundraiser are $40 for general admission, and $20 for veterans. They’re on sale now, at the Honor Flight, Paramount and Ricky Lee websites.
Earlier this month, Luckinbill teamed up with Oswego’s Rick Jacobsen, of Jacobsen Lawn Service, to launch another initiative, which Luckinbill calls “Adopt-A-Vet.” He is looking to pair businesses with veterans, and offer them services for free. Jacobsen was the first to sign on—he’ll be mowing Montgomery World War II vet Clarence Bark’s lawn all summer for free.
Luckinbill said the program is growing faster than he expected. He said he now has another lawn care company—BLC Yardworks of Yorkville—on board, and a private citizen volunteering to mow another veteran’s lawn. Spero Door Service of Oswego has asked to participate, Luckinbill said, and he has three women who have volunteered to clean veterans’ houses for free.
“For starting a couple weeks ago, to have three confirmed yard people with others showing interest is excellent,” he said.
If you’re interested in offering services to a veteran for free, give Luckinbill a call at 630-801-9591.