Solis seeks to honor hero

first_img “She didn’t ask for all the attention, but she deserves it,’ Solis said. Keil moved to Covina 48 years ago and was the first resident on her street, said her daughter, Adrianne Whitmore, 48, who grew up in Covina and now lives in Chino Hills. “I think she would be so honored, so touched, for the city to do something like that because she loved the city,’ Whitmore said. Keil would feel honored by the recognition, although she was modest about such things, Whitmore said. “She never could understand why everyone made such a fuss over it all,’ Whitmore said. “It was something she just did as part of her duty. It was something she was proud to be doing.’ COVINA — The Covina post office may get named for a local hero who made life- saving deliveries of her own. Rep. Hilda Solis, D-El Monte, introduced a bill to name the post office at 545 N. Rimsdale Ave. in honor of Lillian Keil, the most decorated female veteran in U.S. military history. Keil, who died of cancer at age 88 on June 30, served as a flight nurse in World War II and the Korean War, evacuating wounded soldiers from the battlefield in 425 missions. Naming the post office for Keil is a fitting honor for someone who became a trailblazer in the military, Solis said. She was a very strong woman, very kind and approachable, Solis said. Solis’ bill is expected to be heard by the Committee on Government Reform later this month, and would need approval from Congress, the Senate and President Bush. In the San Gabriel Valley, this will not be the first post office named recently after a soldier. In November 2003, Solis received federal approval to name the Duarte post office after Francisco Martinez Flores, a 21- year-old Duarte resident killed while serving with the Marines in Iraq. Keil lived in Covina but she was also very active in West Covina, West Covina Councilman Steve Herfert said, adding people can learn a lot from her life story. “The reward in her life was not monetary. It was helping people,’ Herfert said. “She came from the greatest generation but she did what she did without wanting thanks for it. She believed in serving other people. She saved countless lives.’ @tagline columnist:Rodney Tanaka can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2230, or by e-mail at [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more