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Because the American flag was slowly raised Friday morning within the front courtyard outside Vi at The Glen, World War II and Korean War veteran Robert Anthony stood at attention and briskly saluted in silent respect for fallen comrades.
Anthony was within the Navy from 1944-1946 and served as a radar man on an attack transport within the Pacific, where they supported troops battling on the Philippines, Okinawa, and Iwo Jima.
“I went into the Navy right from highschool, and I remember all my friends who went in before and after me and never got here home,” he said.
Five years later, when the Korean War erupted, Anthony joined the Army and served for 3 years at Fort Knox, Kentucky, where as an organization commander he trained latest recruits.
“A few of them didn’t come home either,” said Anthony, 97, who worked within the railroad industry, and is certainly one of 4 World War II veterans and 6 Korean War veterans living on the Vi. “Today, Veterans Day, is my way of remembering all those guys and paying tribute to them.”
As they do yearly, Vi went all out to honor the nearly 4 dozen Vi residents, who constitute 40 percent of the lads living at Vi on the Golden, and 41 million men and girls across America who’ve served within the military over the course of the nation’s history. Following the flag raising ceremony, which was attended by 75 residents, the commemoration continued with a special coffee hour; comfortable hour; a display of original veterans’ photos, uniforms, and artifacts in the neighborhood front room; and a “mess hall” lunch featuring every GI’s favorite, creamed chipped beef on toast, affectionately often known as SOS, served with Vi flair.
Vi at The Glen’s Executive Director Carrie Schroeder said, “Veterans Day is a crucial day on the community where we are able to all come together to honor those that served, reflect on the past, share stories and show true appreciation for the sacrifices that were made.”
Ron Halper (left), formerly of Wilmette and Winnetka, and Robert Anthony, who served during World War II and in Korea, salute the flat during Vi on the Glen’s ceremony.
Ron Halper is certainly one of the ten Vietnam War-era veterans living at Vi. He served within the Navy from 1963-1968 and was a ship commander and crypto security officer on an LSD that carried tanks, howitzers and Marines and made landings in Hue, Da Nang and Chu Lai.
Unlike a lot of his fellow soldiers, “I never had a selected problem coming back,” said Halper, 82, a former Winnetka and Wilmette resident who ran a paper and secondary fiber brokerage company in Chicago. “I used to be accepted at corporations and interviews. They were accepting of my service and appreciated it.”
Howard Goffen, who served within the Army’s Quartermaster Corps in Fort Lee and Fort Sheridan from 1960 to 1965, made the purpose that a knowledge of history and a transparent public vision of America’s place on the planet matters. “If we don’t learn from history, we’re sure to make the identical mistakes,” said the previous Highland Park resident and retired attorney, 88, who prepared documents for courts-martial. “It will be important to go forward, to defend the principles that America was founded on.”
“I’m a patriot and a giant defense guy. We have now to do every thing we are able to to preserve the world,” said former Wilmette resident David Berlinghof, 90, who served from 1955 to 1957 within the Army’s Transportation Corps, where following 4 years in ROTC he became a second lieutenant and was a commander of his company at Fort Eustis, then was made a primary lieutenant within the Panama Canal Zone. “We should be a powerful country.”
A recent poll said that an all-time high 55 percent of Americans imagine Veterans Day is certainly one of America’s most vital holidays. It’s praise well deserved and never surprising, said former Wilmette resident and retired bank examiner Art Sutton, 77, who served within the Army from 1970 to 1972 and spent a 12 months within the Army’s finance department based in Saigon.
“After we got here back, we were told throw your duffle bag behind your closet and forget you were there,” Sutton said. “Now, after I wear my veteran hat people say, ‘Thanks on your service.’”
More importantly, military service afforded soldiers a bunch of intangible advantages, Sutton said.
“We served our country. We didn’t ask much in return. Even if you were drafted you went in and you probably did your job and also you left with pride. And so they made men out of boys. They toughened you up mentally and physically to take care of the actual world.”
After which, from Sutton, there was this wisdom: “I saw a cartoon once: In the event you can read, thank a teacher. In the event you can read this in English, thank a veteran.”
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