Celebrating the Remarkable Career of Hank Mook: A Salute to Service at GCIA

November 17, 2023

A Fond Farewell to a True Leader in Aviation

Stories of dedication and commitment to service are familiar in the bustling corridors of the Gary / Chicago International Airport (GCIA). Yet, few have marked the history of this place as profoundly as Hank Mook, whose retirement ceremony we recently celebrated. Mook, a name synonymous with service and excellence, has been more than just an employee; he has been a cornerstone of this airport’s journey.

From Active Duty to Aviation Leader

Hank’s story is one of professional achievement and patriotic service. His journey began in the skies of Korea, serving four years in the active-duty Air Force. His passion for aviation and commitment to service then led him to the 181st Indiana Air National Guard Fighter Wing. Here’s a glance at his impressive path:

  • Air Force Beginnings: Four years of dedicated service in Korea, laying the foundation for a lifetime in aviation.
  • Guardian of the Skies: Transitioning to the 181st Indiana Air National Guard Fighter Wing, where he honed his skills further.
  • Diverse Roles: A career that spanned across various aspects of military and private aviation.

Hank Mook’s Impact at GCIA

At GCIA, Hank’s role transcended the day-to-day operational tasks. He was instrumental in the airport’s growth, fueled by significant public and private investments.

“Hank Mook has been a tremendous asset… his professionalism, dedication, and commitment to service will be sorely missed.”

  • Dan Vicari, GCIA’s Executive Director

A Journey Through Service

Hank’s military career is a tale of honor, integrity, and leadership. Starting as an Aircraft Maintenance Technician, he quickly became a leader and mentor. His last assignment, 181st Intelligence Wing Command Chief, was a testament to his unwavering dedication. His peers often spoke of his strong leadership, class, and passion for excellence, always delivered with a sense of humor.

Beyond the Call of Duty

Hank’s service spirit extended beyond his official roles. He volunteered with the United Service Organizations (USO) at O’Hare International Airport for over six years, assisting disabled veterans. His efforts were vital to the annual sports clinics sponsored by the Veterans Affairs and Disabled American Veterans Charity.

A Legacy That Inspires

As Hank Mook steps into the next chapter of his life, we at GCIA and the broader aviation community honor his legacy. His journey inspires us to strive for excellence and reminds us of the profound impact one individual can have.