Operation Welcome You Home | Illinois

If you can't stand behind our troops...Feel free to stand in front of them


Connect with Operation Welcome You Home on Facebook




In Memoriam



Just a Common Soldier by A. Lawrence Vaincourt



US Army Sgt George E Pollitt

July 23, 1923 -- September 16, 2016

Sgt Pollitt proudly, honorably served our country during World War Two, serving in WWII European Theater. George was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Army of Occupational Medal, WWII Medical, American Campaign Medal, 3 Bronze Stars, Carbine Rifle Medal, French Liberation Medal serving in the Battle of the Bulge.

Our Father was a humble yet proud man. He lived for our mom Esther, wife of 70 years and his six children Donna (founder of Operation Welcome You Home), Johnny, Georgie, Debbie, Dawn and Denise. Sadly his sons Georgie and USMC Johnny passed way too soon before Dad which broke Dadís heart.


Jon Dreymann | Operation Welcome You Home

John Dreymann

Jon Dreymann tragically died in a motorcycle accident on August 13, 2009 on the first leg of a 10 day vacation. Jon was a founding member of the Illinois chapter of the Warriors Watch Riders, which provides motorcycle escorts for returning and deploying soldiers. Jon said servicemen and women deserved "a hero's welcome and wanted our military to feel like Rock Stars".


Ron Oswald 


Ron Oswald Age 57, of Minooka, passed away suddenly Saturday, July 14, 2012 from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. While Ron was not a veteran, he spent a lot of his time honoring those who served by riding his motorcycle.


John A. Schofield


 United States Marine Corps

Vietnam, Persian Gulf

March 18, 1947 - October 18, 2007

John was a man that lived by his Core Values till his last day. John was a man who possessed what few men have and most men chase their whole lives. Those values are HONOR, COURAGE, and COMMITMENT. HONOR is the quality that guides Marines to exemplify the ultimate in ethical and moral behavior. COURAGE is the mental, moral, and physical strength ingrained in MARINES TO CARRY THEM THROUGH THE CHALLENGES OF COMBAT and the MASTERY OF FEAR. And COMMITMENT the spirit of determination and dedication within. It is the ingredient that enables 24-hour-a-day dedication to Corps, Country, and family. God bless you John and know YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!!


Thomas Boyle

Born November 13, 1949, in Chicago to the late Thomas and Regina Boyle, he was killed Monday, June 18, 2012, while working as a security contractor in Afghanistan. He was known as a patriot who loved his country and a person who never stopped trying to assist others.

A Marine and two-tour, veteran of Vietnam, who earned the Cross of Gallantry, Mr. Boyle served the Chicago Police Department for 30 years and, upon retirement, went on to work for a private detective agency, and then as a security contractor overseas. In addition to the time he served in Afghanistan, Mr. Boyle also served in Kosovo and Iraq, where he provided security and training in law enforcement.

Locally, Mr. Boyle was personally responsible for capturing brothers Tyrone and Larry Strickland, who were later convicted of murdering Wheeling Police Officer Kenneth Dawson in November of 1985. He also recovered the weapon used in Dawson's fatal shooting.


David Spatafora | Fallen Heroes | Operation Welcome You HomeDavid Spatafora

Spatafora, David A. Age 72, passed away Thursday January 3, 2013. Veteran serving US Coast Guard from 1963 to 1968 and a member of the Plainfield Moose Lodge 2491


Noraml F. "Bud" Bilek | Operation Welcome You HomeNormal F. "Bud" Bilek

United States Navy

Korean War

November 4, 1930 - January 17, 2013

"Good Morning"


  US Army William Cotal Sr.

Korean War Veteran

September 26, 1929 - May 2, 2013


USMC Ronald J. Smolik

July 28, 1938 - March 26,2013


US Army Joseph T. Hron

December 4, 1929 - March 16,2014

  WWII US Army Alfred Bauler

November 14, 1923 - July 7, 2014

Alfred Bauler served with the Company K 34th Infantry 3rd Battalion in the Army. He was in service from February 11, 1943 to January 10, 1946. He was decorated with 3 Oversea Service Bars, American Campaign Medal, Atistic Pacific Theater Ribbon with 2 Bronze Battle Stars, Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Medal and Purple Heart.

  James P. Ostien

February 20, 1948 - May 2, 2013


Robert Louis Smith, Jr.

April 20, 1945 - September 30, 2014

Robert Louis Smith, Jr. (Bob), 69, of Rolling Meadows, Illinois died on September 30, 2014 at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. Born April 20, 1945 in Warren, Ohio to Robert Louis Smith, Sr. and May Elizabeth Smith. His younger brother, Richard LeRoy Smith and both parents preceded him in death.

Bob enlisted in the US Army in 1963 where he served as a combat veteran attached to the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam. He remained active with multiple veteran organizations throughout his life and career in student transportation with Cook-Illinois Corporation. He became a lifetime member of American Legion - Post 208, Veterans of Foreign Wars - Post 981, VietNow - Berwyn/Cicero Chapter, Veterans of the Vietnam War and Special Forces Association Chicago - Chapter XXXVII. Bob helped lead efforts to expand the Illinois Veteranís Foundation; the National Veteranís Art Museum and helped establish both the Orland Park and Rolling Meadows Veteran Commissions. He was co-founder of the Warriorsí Watch Riders in Illinois.

Robert is survived by his wife of 17 years, Chris (Doric) Smith and three children, Robert L. Smith, III (Shelley), Rebecca Smith-OíConnell (Brian) and Jennifer Rider (Sebastien), and six grandchildren: Carson, Bo, Luke, Claire, Linnea and Wyatt.


Frank Gordon

September 14, 1939 - December 20, 2014

Not only was he Great Man, A Marine, a Husband, Father, and an AWESOME Pa~Pa, he was also Aurora's Secret Santa!!

Frank and his wife started the Toys For Tots in Aurora in their living room, to make sure that every child in Aurora gets a toy for Christmas!! Every toy that was donated, STAYED IN THE AURORA AREA!!! It grew so big that they were in warehouse in 2 years, and then in a bigger warehouse the next!! This year it was moved to Batavia, (why? I'm not to sure, but Josh knows) and EVERY TOY was delivered thanks to Josh... (The day that Dad died, we all can hear him, say "Get those last Toys delivered,) and they were.!!!!

Proud children:  Davi, Casi, Dani and Josh.

12 Grandchildren, Tyler, Alaina, Skyla, Ashlie, Seth, Bobby, Ian, Ronica, Jayden, Charlize,(and 2 that are in Heaven with Dad and Mom William and James)

In addition to Toys for Tots, Frank was a Huge supporter of Operation Welcome You Home and a member of the Fox Valley Marines Detachment #1233.



Jesse Vazquez

1963 - 2015

Jesse was known for being a member of the Kane County Board and was an untiring worker for the various service organizations and charities throughout the area. Some of those organizations included being a powerful champion for the Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry, 18 years as a member of the Montgomery Planning Commission, serving on the Aurora Chamber of Commerce as a member of the Board of Directors and so many other service organizations throughout the area. Member of the Amvets and Fox Valley Marines.



Francis "Frank" C. Fahey

April 23, 1925 - August 25- 2015

He proudly served his country during World War II


US Navy Donald "Don" H. Ellis

January 8, 1954- December 4, 2016

Don's Father wrote a beautiful tribute to his son:

 "My Loving Son Donnies: Donnie was always a caring and loving son. As an adult he was a fantastic husband, father, brother and wonderful grandfather! Donnie had a magnetic personality. He was very well respected by his family, friends and business associates. He really enjoyed riding his motorcycle. He was a member of the Christian Motorcycle Club. Donnie took pleasure i volunteering and doing charitable work--especially for Operation Welcome You Home. Last year Donnie and his brother Bryan came to visit me in Florida. It was my 83rd birthday and was the best gift they could have given me. I so enjoyed our time together. They both had their motorcycle and rode all the back roads in the area. It was a great brother time for them both. Donnie was an excellent musician. He played the bass guitar in the Worship Band at church. He had a very strong Christian Faith. The Lord came and took Donnie to his heavenly home. We must take comfort in this knowledge. I know you are at home with our Lord and Savior--Jesus Christ.

God Bless You My Son

Love Forever, Dad G Ellis

  US Army Richard Lopez

March 8, 1930 - August 9, 2009

Korean War

Uncle of OWYH founder Donna Morsovillo

  Wayne L. Tuntland Sr.

June 25, 1940 - February 28, 2017

Wayne L. Tuntland, Sr., 76, of Ottawa, was called home to God Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

He was born June 25, 1940 in Ottawa, to Elmer and Stella (Larson) Tuntland. On October 16, 1964, he married Sandra Plique of Marseilles who survives.

Wayne served in the Navy on the USS Macon. He had been employed by International Harvester and he retired from the National Guard armory in Streator. He and Sandra owned and operated the Quick Wash Laundromat and The Upper Room in Marseilles for over 30 years.


All content included on this site, such as, but not limited to text, graphics, logos, button icons, images, audio clips, and software, is the property of WELCOMEYOUHOME.ORG, its affiliates and/or its content suppliers and is protected by U.S. and international copyright laws.
Any use, including the reproduction, modification, distribution, transmission, republication, display, or performance of the content without written permission is strictly prohibited.  

Copyright ©2022. Operation Welcome You Home (OWYH), a not-for-profit organization, is tax-exempt qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. 1750 W. Ogden Avenue, Ste 2062 | Naperville, IL 60567