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Thank You To America’s Veterans

By Staff | Nov 12, 2009

COLOR GUARD from VFW Post #2295 were part of the Veterans Day Program on Wednesday. Jerry Dillon, Dick Eagan, Don Wichman and Bob Young (pictured left to right) presented the colors. Veterans and school children participated in the program. --Jane Whitmore photo

Veterans Day honors American service members, past and present.

The day was first known as Armistice Day, when on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month the armistice was signed which ended World War I. In the mid 1950s, following World war II and the Korean War, the day of observance became known as Veterans Day.

“2009 We are again a country at war,” Lt. Jared Gledhill told the group gathered at the VFW for the Veterans Day program. “Our military men and women are serving around the globe. Today we remember the brave men and women who stand in the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are standing watch to keep our nation safe. We must not forget that they carry 100-percent of the burden of an all volunteer force.”

Gledhill acknowledged the Iowa National Guard whose members are facing one of the largest potential deployments since World War II. He noted that a large population of veterans continues to deploy, showing pride, belief in their mission, achievement and honor.

The lieutenant asked for a moment of silence for the fallen and injured at Fort Hood. He pointed out that stress and strain are not confined overseas.

“Thank you to all American veterans and their families,” Lt. Gledhill said. “We are grateful and acknowledge their contributions to a grateful nation. Veterans, you have done your duty. We thank you for your service in war and in peace. None of what we have today would be possible without you.”

Lt. Jared Gledhill is the Executive Officer of the 113th Cavalry out of Camp Dodge.

Ron Hersom, Commander of VFW Post #2295, introduced John Gannon who participated in the Honor Flight Program in October. Gannon, Gerald Firkins and Francis Farlow flew out of Des Moines. Paul Bierie of Mallard participated in an Honor Flight out of Mason City. Most recently, Antone Clausen of Mallard and Delbert Berninghaus, formerly of West Bend and currently of Emmetsburg, participated in an Honor Flight out of Des Moines.

Gannon gave highlights of the flight to Washington, D.C., saying it was the trip of a lifetime. In Des Moines, the World War II veterans were presented jackets and caps and packets which included a camera. There were special people taking care of those in wheel chairs. One of the highlights in Des Moines was receiving letters from elementary students, each thanking the veterans for their service. The veterans were welcomed in Washington, D.C. by students who also thanked them.

The tour included the Kennedy Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery and the Changing of the guard at the Tom of the Unknown Soldier. They also saw the Iwo Jima memorial, and World War I memorial before the highlight of the trip, the World War II memorial.

“The people who sponsored this were unbelievable,” said Gannon.

Travis Dvorak, manager of the casino at Wild Rose Casino &?Resort, invited everyone to the Honor Flight Benefit this Saturday.

As a Marine and Persian Gulf veteran, and the son of a Vietnam veteran, Dvorak said, “Yes, we served. But don’t thank us. Thank the men and women before us. The people from the Greatest Generation.”

Dvork outlined how the Wild Rose is partnering with the VFW in sponsoring the Honor Flight benefit, calling it a “labor of love” to honor America’s veterans.

Veterans and school children participated in the program. Emmetsburg Catholic School students sang several selections, including “God Bless the USA.” Wayne Smith of Emmetsburg also sang for the group, including “Sleep, Soldier Boy.”

Pastor Steve Ellerbusch offered prayers. Refreshments were served by members of the VFW Auxiliary.