Area veterans take
Union Chapel Methodist Church sponsored a Grateful Nation bus trip to the war memorials in Washington, D.C. for World War II veterans on Wednesday, September 17.
Veterans of World War II, their wives and widows of WWII vets were given complimentary seats as a Thank You for their service to the country.
The event was organized and coordinated by Dennis and Connie Seaman.
Thanks to the generous donations of the people of Union Chapel, we were
able to pay for the seats, Dennis Seaman, who is himself a disabled Vietnam vet, said.
Many Korean and Vietnam War veterans and others interested in seeing the memorials also made the trip.
A total of 68 people filled two buses from Bollman Charter Service of Everett, Pa. Buses picked up passengers at Union Chapel and the Moose Club in Berkeley Springs.
The buses stopped on the way into D.C. at a Roy Rogers in Frederick, Md. to pick up boxed lunches.
The first stop was in Rosslyn, Va. to visit the Iwo Jima Memorial. The memorial is dedicated to all personnel of the United States Marine Corps who have died in defense of their country since 1775.
The impressive sculpture depicts the scene from the famous photograph by Joe Rosenthal of five United States Marines and one U.S. Navy Corpsman raising the flag on Mt. Suribachi during the battle of Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945.
On the way to the World War II Memorial, the buses rode past Arlington Cemetery, the Pentagon and the U.S. Air Force Memorial.
At the World War II Memorial, all were surprised at the sight of Senator Bob Dole standing at the entrance greeting veterans.
The World War II Memorial is a breathtaking sight in itself, but as it sits on the Mall between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, the view is even more impressive.
The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team was on hand to give a demonstration of their precision and skill.
Ample time was given for everyone to view the memorial and eat their boxed lunches.
At the World War II Memorial, WWII veterans from Morgan County talked about their service.
Ernie Barchers was a U.S. Navy Corpsman, who along with a company of Marines stormed Omaha Beach on D-Day. He was accompanied by his wife Norma.
Paige DeLawder served with the 9th U.S. Army in England, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. DeLawder was in Germany when the Germans surrendered. He was accompanied by his daughter Karen Henry.
DeLawder remembers touring a large cave in Maastricht, Holland where the Dutch hid valuables and city records from the Germans. There on a wall he carved P. DeLawder 1945.
The cave is now a museum and DeLawder said recently he received a letter including a photo of his writing in the cave from a guide.
Luther Robertson served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1942 – 1945. He was on shore patrol duty in the port of Baltimore patrolling in a scout car and working with the Baltimore City Police.
Lou Pasola was in the 240th Ground Forces Army Band from 1940 – 1945. He played saxophone and clarinet and remember playing Yankee Stadium in 1943 during a U.S. Government bond tour. He also served on Guam.
Clyde Golden was in the U.S. Navy from 1942 – 1946 and assigned to a training squadron at Pensacola, Florida.
Dale Beahn served with the Merchant Marine from 1945 – 1950. Beahn made 22 Atlantic crossings. He was accompanied by his wife Helen.
Doris Dodge, the widow of WWII veteran Paul W. Dodge talked about her husband's service in the U.S. Army Band in Colorado. He also served as a dental technician.
Korean War veterans
The next stop was the Korean War Memorial. The group was well represented by Korean War veterans.
Fay Deli served in the Women's Army Corps (WAC) from 1949 – 1952.
Evan Reichard, who was accompanied by his wife Lois, served on a destroyer in the Atlantic from 1953 - 1955.
Andy Juric also served with the Atlantic Fleet, mostly on the battleship U.S.S. Wisconsin, from 1949 - 1953. Juric remembers being on watch when word came of the start of the war in Korea.
George White, who was accompanied by his wife Relda, served in the U.S. Army in Korea from 1952 – 1954.
Don Bare, accompanied by wife Joyce, served in the U.S. Navy from 1949 – 1953.
Other Korean War veterans and wives on the trip included Lewis and Etta Hovermale, Charles Williams, Frances Taylor, Ernie and Norma Barchers, Clyde Golden and Dale and Helen Beahn.
Many other veterans on the trip served either between wars or in Vietnam.
These included Harold Miller, who served in the 1st Airborne, 11th Artillery in Vietnam 1967 – 1968, Clyde Golden, Army Intelligence in Vietnam 1964 and 1965 – 1966, Jim Stowers, accompanied by wife Sharon, who served on the U.S.S. Cadimus, 1956 – 1959 and Ed Houk, accompanied by his wife Shirley, who served on the U.S.S. Purdy, 1956 – 1958.
The last stop on the tour was the Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) Memorial.
On the way back to Morgan County, the buses stopped at the Golden Corral in Frederick, Md. for dinner.
Seaman said a trip next year that may include a stop at the Vietnam War Memorial, is being planned.