Article updated: 11/12/2012 1:20 PM

World War II vets want to expand Honor Flights

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Clutching a poster featuring her likeness from her days as a Marine Corps airplane mechanic, Helen Ehlers, 89, of Wheaton, soaks in the adoration from a fellow DuPage County Marine Corps League member welcoming her home from an Honor Flight trip to Washington, D.C., to see the World War II Memorial.

Courtesy of Read Boeckel

Snapping to attention during last month's Honor Flight visit to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., Navy veteran Bob Banks of Glen Ellyn, standing in the middle, is flanked by Marine Helen Ehlers of Wheaton, right, and former Air Force First Lt. B.L. Dunjill.

Courtesy of Read Boeckel

Former Marine Corps airplane mechanic Helen Ehlers, 89, of Wheaton, being pushed by fellow veteran Bob Banks of Glen Ellyn, says her recent Honor Flight trip to see the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., was "awesome." Making sure all that era's veterans feel that way is the job for younger generation Marine veteran Read Boeckel of Glen Ellyn, left, secretary of the charity and a guardian on this trip. Navy Corpsman Steve Taylor stands to the right.

Courtesy of Honor Flight Chicago

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The work that goes into every trip for World War II veterans can be exhausting, admits Honor Flight Chicago President Jody Kopsky of Palatine. But the gratitude and emotional rewards always recharge her energy.

Courtesy of Honor Flight Chicago

This poster features a photo of Wheaton resident Helen Ehlers, now 89, taken during her service as a Marine Corps airplane mechanic. Honor Flight volunteers welcoming veterans home after a trip to the World War II Memorial go beyond the call to show their gratitude.

Courtesy of Read Boeckel

About this Article

The local Honor Flight charity has taken almost 4,000 veterans to see the World War II Memorial. With even the youngest veterans of that war now approaching 90, those veterans say they'd like to see the effort keep going after they are gone, expanding to include veterans of Korea, Vietnam and our 21st Century wars. "It takes you back. You almost lose your breath," says Helen Ehlers of Wheaton.
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    • Clutching a poster featuring her likeness from her days as a Marine Corps airplane mechanic, Helen Ehlers, 89, of Wheaton, soaks in the adoration from a fellow DuPage County Marine Corps League member welcoming her home from an Honor Flight trip to Washington, D.C., to see the World War II Memorial.
    •  Snapping to attention during last month’s Honor Flight visit to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., Navy veteran Bob Banks of Glen Ellyn, standing in the middle, is flanked by Marine Helen Ehlers of Wheaton, right, and former Air Force First Lt. B.L. Dunjill.
    •  Former Marine Corps airplane mechanic Helen Ehlers, 89, of Wheaton, being pushed by fellow veteran Bob Banks of Glen Ellyn, says her recent Honor Flight trip to see the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., was “awesome.” Making sure all that era’s veterans feel that way is the job for younger generation Marine veteran Read Boeckel of Glen Ellyn, left, secretary of the charity and a guardian on this trip. Navy Corpsman Steve Taylor stands to the right.
    •  The work that goes into every trip for World War II veterans can be exhausting, admits Honor Flight Chicago President Jody Kopsky of Palatine. But the gratitude and emotional rewards always recharge her energy.
    •  This poster features a photo of Wheaton resident Helen Ehlers, now 89, taken during her service as a Marine Corps airplane mechanic. Honor Flight volunteers welcoming veterans home after a trip to the World War II Memorial go beyond the call to show their gratitude.
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