Honor Flight/Audio

Guhr embodies what makes the greatest generation great

CREATED Nov 11, 2011

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  • George Guhr and his granddaughter Anna arrive at Dulles International in Washington.

  • People filled Mitchell International to welcome their vets home.

  • The Honor Guard leads our vets back to their families at Mitchell International.

  • Waiting for our return flight.

  • At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier watching the changing of the guard.

  • Posing for the group shot at the WWII Memorial.

  • Wisconsin's column at the WWII memorial.

  • Flowers left at a memorial to the 101st Airborne at Arlington National Cemetery.

  • At the Women's Memorial.

  • Our welcome in Washington.

  • Relatives of one of our vets meet him at the airport in Washington.

  • Charlie Sykes shakes our vets hands as they arrive at Dulles International.

  • People in Washington DC welcome our vets at the airport.

  • Waiting to go see the sights.

  • Charlie Sykes poses with a vet.

  • Flying to Washington

  • Music for the vets as we wait for our flight.

  • Volunteers shake the hands of the vets prior to takeoff.

  • Vets and their Guardians lined up at Mitchell getting ready for their flight.

WASHINGTON DC - George Guhr embodies what makes the greatest generation great.

"If you didn't do anything today to help someone, that's a mistake.  Our generation is built on helping, helping, helping.  Somewhere along the line I hope we've helped another person or helped another country in the world."

George says that knowing full well that he didn't just help another country, he helped save a whole continent through his service in the Air Corps in Europe.

George was on the trip with his Granddaughter, Anna.  "It's an honor to have this young lady with me," Guhr said.

The honor is not just because she's his granddaughter, but because she also serves.  She is with the 128th Air Refueling Wing in Milwaukee.

As George puts it, "she's current, I'm old."  

The trip was Anna's idea.  She learned about the Honor Flights while volunteering for one through the 128th.  She got her grandpa on the list and gave it to him as a Christmas present.  

She was probably going to be his guardian either way although George points out, "her grandmother sent her along to make sure I behave."

That was, of course, tongue in cheek.  George has been married for 66 years.  Their story is beautiful and Anna spoke up to make sure I knew it.

"She waited for him throughout the war.  The only form of communication they had was letters, real letters, not emails or anything like that, not even phone calls," Anna told me.  She waited for four years.

George actually mailed a ring to her to make sure she didn't yet away while he was training on the west coast.  He mailed it to a bank where she was working in Hales Corners.

Then when he was shipping out he stopped in Chicago to make it official.  "She came down with my mother and another escort so we'd make sure it was proper," George said.  They snuck off in a cab.  He put the ring on her finger and she accepted.

Then George shipped out.

"We wrote a letter every day.  I did and she did," George said.  And then he dropped a bombshell, "we burned them after we built our house in '48."

When I asked why they would burn them, George grinned and told me, "we decided we didn't want all that chatter to be known to the next generation."

His wife has kept one letter, but says it will be buried with her.

I still couldn't believe they had burned them and said, "wow, all that history up in smoke."  George replied, "well, some of them were rather warm anyways."

Over 66 years, George has learned the secret to a good marriage.  "Yes we've had discussions, but she was always right."

And he knows the secret to life.  "there's so much to give rather than take.  My whole generation, my whole life was that if you didn't help anyone today then you're not doing God's will."