My father, Alexander W. Farrow, went into the U.S. Army in 1915. He rose to the rank of sergeant. When the U.S. went to Europe to fight in World War I, dad went over as a member of the Yankee Division. He was an artillery sergeant and he led a squad into no-mans land in several of the many battles in France as forward observers directing artillery fire. He was given a citation for bringing back to the rear a wounded squad member.
Above: Dr. Bob Shumaker reuniting with his family after more than eight years in captivity.
National POW/MIA Recognition Day is Sept. 19, 2014. But the mass movement to raise awareness for these servicemembers took place during the Vietnam War. The wives of POWs tortured and kept for years launched a fight to bring back prisoners of war and determine the fate of the men missing in action.
Pictured: Hugh McPhail, Carol McPhail and John William Finn
Hugh McPhail graduated from high school in May 1950, and the next month the Korean War broke out. McPhail had enlisted in the National Guard a few years prior - an uncle gave consent.
So, McPhail served with the Army from 1950-1952. By 20, he was a Special Forces Group tank commander in Korea, he said. He is a graduate of the Command General Staff Officers School at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, and of OCS in California. He then went on to more officer training at Ft. Knox, Ky.
At a “Spirit of '45” celebration to recognize the military service of nine New Jersey World War II veterans and residents of the Voorhees Rehabilitation Center, the New Jersey director of employer outreach for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) presented 100-year-old World War II veteran Tommy De Lucia with an ESGR challenge coin.
At 100, the Philadelphia native has witnessed remarkable changes, from the invention of Henry’s Ford’s Model T to the tooling of a car that can transform into an airplane.
In 1942, PFC De Lucia began his military service.
It was the end of a long and tiring day for 96 veterans and their escorts, but every one of them remained excited and impressed with the Honor Flight trip to Washington in June.
Denver, Iowa, Post Chaplain and Post Commander Robert Schmitz welcomed Shorty Diercks and Herman Emkes back home.
The veterans all expressed their appreciation for the memories made during the trip, but most of them had to admit that the overwhelming welcome-home by nearly a thousand flag-waving, poster-bearing, proud and appreciative friends and families was the most memorable.
Photos: from left, James E. Brown; Harold W. Brown; Elmer E. Brown; and Donald J. Brown.
My three brothers and I cover four branches of service: the Marines, Air Force, Navy and Army. But it didn't start with us. The Brown family has served our country a long time.
Our great-grandfather John Williamson Brown served in the Army during the Civil War from 1863-1864. Our grandfather Isaac Williamson Brown served in the 3rd Infantry Division during the Spanish American War from 1898-1901.
Our father, Elmer Elsworth Brown, enlisted in the Army during World War I.
Loudoun County government, in partnership with five American Legion posts (Sterling Park, Ashburn, Leesburg, Purcellville and Middleburg], will unite with local veterans charitable organizations and the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce to host the first Salute to Military, Veterans and Families on Sept. 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
World War II veteran Mike Zaderecky receives his American Legion 70 continuous year star at a special presentation during the August meeting of the Joseph J. Jacubic Post 572 in Parma, Ohio. In addition to his 70 years of membership, he was also the first full term post commander back in 1946. Zaderecky is 96 years old, has been a member of the Legion for 70 years and has been an employee of the city of Parma since 1964. He is still working everyday as a bailiff in the Parma court system.
By Darryl Owens, Orlando Sentinel Columnist,
Used with permission of the Orlando Sentinel
Just south of 13 years, America has been in what seems a never ending global war on terror.
Much has changed during that time. Motives for invasion. Commanders-in-Chief. Enemies. Even the phrase coined for our response to soulless evil on a September morn-war on terror-has fallen out of favor.
One thing stayed constant: war's wounded.
Between Afghanistan and Iraq, 52,116 U.S.troops were injured. Many struggle with life after loosing limbs to roadside bombs.
George Fain's friend Bobby Adams returned home from the Marines decked out with gear and a sharp, crisp green uniform. Fain took that sight in and discovered a new direction.
"And that sold me on the Marine Corps," Fain said. He served in the Pacific as a Marine throughout the islands surrounding Pearl Harbor. He tried to sign up once, but too young (and too small to pass as older) he was told to wait. He did, until he was 17, at which point he got his father Van L.
I'm 90 years old, and served in the U.S. Army during World War II.
My father was a large operator in the sawmilling and timber industry across northern Virginia. I graduated from high school in Fairfax, Va., in 1941, and worked with him handling heavy oak lumber the following year. This work made me bull-strong and solid as a rock.
Then came my papers from Uncle Sam: "I want you!" I was drafted and sent to Camp (now Ft.) Hood, Texas. There, I joined the 113th Cavalry. We trained in recon, strategy and tactics.
At 96 years old, Sherwood Davies has a sharp memory and has seen a lot: Europe during World War II and the tuberculosis sanitarium in the Adirondacks and Dwight Eisenhower. He remembers exactly where he was when King George VI declared war on Germany - a speech now famous in a film with Colin Firth.
Even so, the Patriot Flight he took to Washington, D.C., in June ranks as a memory to cherish.
The "world's tallest tribute to freedom," is a 400-foot tall flagpole waving an American flag that's 7,200 square feet. The pole is about 100 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty, its flag is four stories tall, and it stands in an unlikely location: an insurance company campus in Sheboygan, Wisc.
"The purpose No. 1 was to sincerely thank veterans. No. 2 was to be a source of inspiration," Sheboygan resident and Acuity CEO Ben Salzmann said.
American Legion Post 347 in Florida recently celebrated anniversaries of two longtime Legionnaires, 60 years for Wendell Sherman and 50 years for Fred Murphy.
Commander Tim Tierney presented the awards.
Post 731 in San Diego recently took a long overdue formal step to support the charter application of its Auxiliary Unit. On Aug. 2, Post 731 Commander Charles Camarato and Post 731 Adjutant Frank Strayer Jr. presented an official letter of intent to 22nd District Auxiliary President June Coatney.
Post 731 began its revitalization project in 2011. Revitalization encompasses many facets of post management. The post re-established its SAL squadron, and now moves to establish an Auxiliary unit.
It’s been more than 13 years since the passing of my dad, John “Jack” Gothreau, who died in October 2001. In tribute to his memory and to all those who served in our nation’s conflicts I thought it worthwhile to share the experience of my dad’s family in World War II.
Five of 10 children would heed the call to service. Dad, as well as his brothers Chris and Eugene, went to the Pacific theater, while brother James was sent to France, and sister Marge served as a naval nurse stationed at the Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, N.H.
Veterans in Granville County, N.C., are now honored with a memorial thanks to Post 90 in Oxford, N.C.
The Granville County, N.C., Veterans Memorial, which cost about $25,000, was paid for through donations, selling commemorative bricks to honor veterans and a T-shirt campaign, said Frank Strickland, Post 90 fundraising chairman.
"We started at a low budget, but once the project started and the support from the community caused us to change our plans.
On Tuesday, Aug. 12, the Hernando County Board of County Commissioners (Brooksville, Fla.) approved a resolution commending Chaplain Charles Haig, recipient of Chapel of Four Chaplains Legion of Honor Award.
They presented Haig with a copy of the signed resolution and a framed copy of the “Legion of Honor” award he received for his selfless continued service to God, America and his community.
Our post has 85 members, and we are located in a 55+ mobile-home community in Leesburg, Fla. Being a small post with no real home, we meet in a room that the community clubhouse provides. We average 20 members at our meetings, which is about 28 percent.
The average age of our members is 75. Many of our active members who participate in our events are 85 or older.
We have been participating in various parades held in the surrounding towns in order to get the word out that we are an active post.
Back in 1943 I turned 18 years old, which was just the right age for induction into the military service. The military was trying to determine where each outfit was going to be shipped so they were building up their divisions, companies and batteries, with the number of people they needed.
I came from a large family of nine - four girls and five boys. Four boys served in the military. Two were in the Army, one was in the Navy, one was in the Marines, and three of my sisters were married to servicemen. One brother was killed in Anzio, Italy, in 1944.
In Anthon, Iowa, a new Iwo Jima Memorial stands beside Post 389.
Legionnaire Marvin Hansen served at Iwo Jima on a supply ship.
"He said they woke up that morning and they could see that flag and it put a whole new light on everybody's face," said Joe Harbaugh, Navy veteran.
The monument was Harbaugh's brainchild. It was an idea he couldn't shake, then began overtaking his basement in 2007. He wanted to honor Hansen, a friend and active member, as well as see through one of his preoccupations.
Purple Heart Appreciation Day, Aug. 7, is a date to remember and honor those who have been wounded or killed in service to the United States. But at the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor in New Windsor, N.Y., that commemoration happens every day.
Afghanistan veteran Capt. Aristeas K. Tzovaras will receive the Purple Heart at 2 p.m. Aug. 10 at the Hall. Lt. Col. Mark Baaden, who received the Purple Heart last year and served under Tzovaras, will present it.
I save old, torn, worn-out American flags. Most years, my husband, Philip, and I bring the flags to a friend who resides in the small Michigan village of Grand Marais, where they are burned in a solemn ceremony every Fourth of July.
When the church bell struck the hour, the parade started, music blared, and everyone waved, grownups and children alike. This is a small community, so the parade went around the block three times.
After the parade broke up, the flag burning ceremony began at the war memorial in the park.
Boy Scout Troop 224, SW Ranches, Fla., conducted an American Flag Retirement Ceremony to honor the flags collected over the past year. Pembroke Pines Post 385 supports Troop 224 and was in attendance during the ceremony. It had rained hard earlier in the evening, but when the time came the skies cleared and the fire climbed toward the heavens.
The flags were accorded the same dignity at the end that they rightly received during their lifetime.
"We pay honor to this flag for the service it has rendered."
The Ottawa (Ohio) American Legion Post 63 recently celebrated the continuous membership of Andy Macke and Sidney Goodkin, who have both been Legionnaires for more than 70 years. They are both World War II veterans.
Pictured: Left to right, Bryce Agner, Post 63 adjutant; Andy Macke; Sid Goodkin and Bill Roberts, commander of Post 63.
The 1st District of the Wisconsin American Legion is comprised of 45 posts from five counties in southeastern Wisconsin. Every year since September 1984, the 1st District Legionnaires, along with all other veterans and civilians, have rendered respect for those who may still be serving this country as a POW or are classified as Missing in Action. This tribute takes the form of a Silent March.
The Silent March is best described as a quiet, solemn procession. The participants walk in unison with reverent silence and the only sound to be heard is a lone drumbeat.
On Saturday, July 26, the Department of Florida Legion Riders chapters provided a motorcade escort for Department Commander Jay Conti to the Orlando Harley Davidson to appear as a guest speaker at the Veterans Appreciation Event.
The annual Clarke County Veterans’ July Food Drive was held during the month of July. The veterans of American Legion Post 41, along with the good people of Clarke County, have made this year’s effort another success. Over 600 pounds of food has been delivered to the FISH of Clarke County Food Pantry in Berryville, along with cash donations in the amount of $695.
This joint effort between our veterans and citizens to collect both money and food for the benefit of the less fortunate in Clarke County, is one in which we all can take great pride.
The Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks Atchison Lodge #647, has awarded Levern Dunavan the prestigious “Veteran Volunteer of the Year” award. This award may be presented to only one male and one female in the state of Kansas each year. It honors those who have dedicated themselves to ”Serving Our Nation’s Veterans.”
Levern is a Life Member of the American Legion Homer White Post #66 of Hiawatha, KS, serving many years as post Adjutant. Levern is one of the original members of the Brown County Veterans Honor Guard. Levern himself is a veteran of the Korean War era.
(From left) Senior Airman Michael Murphy and Staff Sgt. Thomas Spencer from the 69th Reconnaissance Group hand bags and plastic containers filled with soda pop tabs to Robert Greene, American Legion Post #6 commander, on June 25, 2014. Greene took the pop tabs to the American Legion Department of North Dakota Convention in Minot where officials confirmed that 68,003 pop tabs were collected for the Ronald McDonald House in Bismarck, N.D. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Luis Loza Gutierrez)