HICKORY, Pa. - The Hickory Lions Club held its fourth-annual Veterans Day program, with Chief Warrant Officer Margie Moldovan of McDonald as the speaker, at the Mount Pleasant Township Community Center Sunday.
Moldovan, who served during Operation Iraqi Freedom, spoke about those service members with whom she's served, including a mother who had to leave her young son for 18 months and a father who missed the birth of his second child. She also spoke about one of her colleagues who was killed by a suicide bomber and her grandfather, whom she had never met, but whose flag her mother displayed in her home.
Moldovan also spoke about the number of veterans in the area, and, noted, that although there were no military bases in the area, there were a number of National Guard units.
When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, "there were several hundred (National Guardsmen) on standby, and there were units sent to New York City and Hoboken, N.J., to help with their clean up.
"You never know when you will come across a veteran - many don't wear their uniforms every day. You probably come across veterans each and every day. It may be the person in front of you for coffee at Get-Go; it may be the woman who moved in down the street; it may be your childhood best friend's grandfather, who never forgets to put the flag at half-staff."
Moldovan noted that a successful soldier doesn't just have physical strength and the ability to follow and give orders, but a sense of duty and loyalty and an ability to overcome adversity. She noted that soldiers and their families made sacrifices, not only for the good of the country, but for the world.
"The effect of warfare and family separation can take a toll on anyone," she said.
Moldovan remarked on the rise in military suicides, and spoke of the program, Resiliency, which helped soldiers solve interpersonal and professional problems and improved positive outlook. She has been certified a master trainer in the program and said she has seen an appreciable impact in a short time.
"The next time you thank a veteran, don't just thank them for their service, but for their sacrifices and for overcoming challenges to make this country great," she said.
In addition to introducing Moldovan, past Lions President Ron Stewart read the roll call of all 28 Hickory-area military members who died during their service. During the roll call, a bell was rung for each local veteran lost, and either a family member or Lion stood in remembrance.
The World War II dead included: U.S. Army Private Richard E. "Dick" McAnany, 22, the son of Edith and James McAnany of Midway, died April 30, 1942, during the Bataan Death March, his remains were never recovered; U.S. Air Force Sgt. Earl "Bud" L. Kersten, 23, the son of Ella and William Kersten of Westland, a B-17 bomber radio operator who went down over North Africa Feb. 3, 1920, his remains were never recovered; Army Private Harold F. Ramacker, 19, the son of Catherine and Joseph Ramacker of Primrose, killed in the North African Campaign Sept. 3, 1943, buried in Midway Cemetery; Army Private Donald T. Gordon, 21, the son of Hazel and Joseph T. Gordon of Primrose, killed in Italy Sept. 9, 1943, buried in Midway Cemetery;
Army Engineers Private Louis "Bruth" Kargle Jr., 30, the son of Madeline and Louis Kargle Sr. of Primrose, died in New Guinea Feb. 29, 1944, buried in Guam; Air Force Second Lt. James "Mike" Herbert Bebout, 21, the son of Alice and James Bebout of Kisnertown, B-24 pilot shot down over Germany, June 2, 1944, buried at Arlington Cemetery; Army PFC Grover "Buddy" C. Gould, 20, the son of Olive and Harry Gould of Southview, died in sinking of troop ship in the Mediterranean June 6, 1944, his remains were never recovered; Air Force Second Lt. Malcolm M. Dinsmore, 27, the son of Laura and John Y. Dinsmore of Hickory, B-17 pilot shot down over the English Channel June 21, 1944, his remains were never recovered;
Air Force Sgt. Orrin G. Miller, 26, the son of Amy and Earl Miller of Jefferson Township, B-24 bomber turret gunner shot down over Hungary July 27, 1944, his remains were never recovered; U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Joseph Mercier, 24, the son of Louise and Jules Mercier of Primrose, killed in invasion of Guam July 30, 1944, buried in Hawaii; Army Private John T. Williams, 27, the son of Lucy and Taylor Williams of Hickory, killed in France Aug. 3, 1944, buried in Mount Prospect Cemetery; Army Private Charles H. Dotts, 33, the son of Vista Porter and L.M. Dotts of Marianna, killed in Germany Oct. 21, 1944, buried in Washington Cemetery;
Army Air Force Second Lt. Roy L. Storrick, 20, the son of Kathryn and John Storrick of Washington, B-24 co-pilot shot down over France or Germany Dec. 2, 1944, buried in Washington Cemetery; U.S. Navy Ensign J. Wayne Scott, 24, the son of Tillie and Walter Scott of Hickory, died of illness during Bond Drive in Chicago Dec. 12, 1944, buried in Mount Prospect Cemetery; Army Private Michael "Mitch" Morris, 21, son of Anna and Harold Morris of Primrose, killed in Germany Dec. 19, 1944, buried in France;
U.S. Army Amphibious Force Technician Stephen "Steve" Bawolak Jr., 26, the son of Julia and Stephen Bawolak Sr. of Primrose, killed during the re-taking of Leyte, Philippine Islands Dec. 25, 1944, buried in Robinson Run Cemetery; Army Sgt. Ernest "Ernie" G. Kaiser, 34, the son of Eldora Kaiser of Youngwood, killed in France Jan. 1, 1945, buried in France; U.S. Army Signal Corps PFC James "Jim" A. McDowell, 22, the son of Margaret and John H. McDowell of Hickory, died in Germany April 17, 1945, buried in Holland;
Army Air Force Sgt. Nicholas "Nick" Meriage, 21, the son of Mary and Stanley Meriage of Primose, B-24 ball gunner shot down over the South Pacific; his remains were never recovered; and U.S. Army Air Force Police Cpl. Joseph J. Manion Jr., 30, the son of Agnes McCruske and Joseph Manion Sr., killed while on patrol duty between Harrisburg and Hershey, buried in Canonsburg Cemetery.
The dead of the following wars include: Army PFC Howard Andrews, 24, son of Helen and Carl Andrews Sr. of Southview, missing in action at Uijongbu-Tongduchon, Korea, April 25, 1951, his remains were never recovered; Army Air Force Petty Officer Third Class Robert "Bob" Wilson Davidson, 19, the son of Dorothy and Alvin Davidson of Hickory, died in B-25 crash in Georgia Oct. 1, 1953, buried in Washington Cemetery; Army PFC Norman Robert "Bob" Allshouse, 21, the son of Anna and John Allshouse of Westland, died in auto accident in Kentucky Aug. 7, 1955, buried in Robinson Run Cemetery; Army Specialist Fourth Class Robert "Bob" Mason Campbell, 24, the son of Florella and Walter Campbell of Hickory, died in an mechanical accident in Germany Aug. 25, 1964, buried in Mount Prospect Cemetery; Marine PFC Charles "Chuck" Louis Zoog, 22, the son of Mary and Jerome Zoog of Hickory, died in Quang Ngai, Vietnam, March 5, 1966, buried in Forrest Lawn Gardens, McMurray; Army Air Force First Lt. Donald Wayne Jacobs, 22, the son of Alvie C. and Elizabeth Jacobs of McDonald, reconnaissance pilot killed in Vietnam June 11, 1968, buried in Mount Prospect Cemetery; Marine Sgt. Lanos Jeffrey "Jeff" Cowden, 21, the son of Martha and Dale Cowden of Hickory, died of illness in the North Atlantic Oct. 15, 1976, buried in Mount Prospect Cemetery; and Army Reserves Sgt. Joseph "Joe" Bongiorni III, 20, died in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, Feb. 25, 1991, buried in Mount Prospect Cemetery.
Lions President Bob Glazier gave the welcome. Toni Sears led a "Salute to the Military," and Hickory Boy Scout Troop 1365 presented the colors. Lay Pastor Arden McCartney of the Hickory United Evangelical Presbyterian Church gave the invocation and benediction. Carolyn Smith performed two vocal solos; Brianna Kadlecik performed a instrumental solo; and John Gaskill and Nathan Klimas of the Fort Cherry High School band performed taps.
John Caldwell, veteran and Lion, was remembered for his work in locating a veterans memorial at the community center and in organizing and promoting the annual Veterans Day program.
(Wallace-Minger can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)