Submitted By CUSD #321

PECATONICA – Twenty community veterans were honored at the Pecatonica Middle Community Middle School Library on Veteran’s Day. Ms. Grunder, the librarian, created a “Wall of Honor” for staff and students to display pictures of loved ones that served or are serving. ROTC students, Davin Frye and Justin Garrison assisted the veterans during the program. The Veteran’s enjoyed delicious apple crisp, ice cream, and coffee served by the kitchen staff, and then graciously shared their service stories.

Veterans of the Army who attended were Jim Anderson, Ray Mayfield, Glenn Moist, Gary Forde, Howard, Finley, Jeree Meyers, Dale Clark, John DeGrote and Bob Meyers. The following are a few things they communicated to the students that day.

  • The Draft– Many of the service men at the time of their enlistment did not have a choice on whether or not to enlist. Glenn Moist was 18 and planning a September wedding. He received a letter requesting him to take a physical and three months later received a letter to take a second physical. He realized that he would be drafted soon and immediately began planning an “August” wedding instead.
  • Traveling the World – Jim Anderson traveled the world (Sweden, Italy, Germany to name a few) as an American Soldier. His stated that his most important discovery was that, “America was the greatest country in the world”.
  • Morse Code – John DeGrote’s musical talents enabled him to successfully transmit and receive classified military communications using Morse Code during a time when communication resources were extremely limited.
  • Mail Call – Bob Myers worked in the post office when the only way one could communicate to their loved one was by “snail mail”. This was very important to the morale of the service men, women, and their loved ones.

Veterans of the Navy who attended were Bill Carlson, Bruce Lizer, Rudy Kraut, Dick Zimmerman and Lyle Allen.

  • Torpedo Man– Rudy Kraut said he was 20 years old and voluntarily enlisted in the Navy where he became a “Torpedo Man” on a Submarine. He actually bunked with his torpedo while traveling the world, and narrowly escaped a few close calls throughout his service.

Veterans from the Marines who attended were Bill Faller, Ronald Loy, Craig Peterson and Arne Swanson

  • Boot Camp– Arne Swanson remembered how his group of recruits were transported in a cattle car on a rainy day to boot camp where he went right to the barber’s chair and given a military haircut.

Veterans from the Air Force who attended were Gary Buettner, Dick Whittington, Bob Smith.

  • USA Takes Quick Action– Dick Whittington served in WWII in the air force during a time when the United States Army was under developed and when men were quickly drafted into war, and this meant that the women had to take over the factory work to support the war effort.
  • Shaping a Future– Gary Buettner decided to enlist in 1965. There wasn’t a draft at that time, but he was unsure what he wanted to do with his young life. In his 4 years of service he developed a sense of direction and discipline. He expressed that his service experiences would later shape his future at the Bryon Nuclear plant as a successful security administrator.


Thank you Veterans!PMS Vets Day 1

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