Green Township VFW post observing Memorial Day

Kurt Backscheider, kbackscheider@communitypress.com
VeteransParkProjectGREEN TWP. – Memorial Day is always a special holiday to Mike Donnelly.

It’s a day when the U.S. Army veteran pauses to reflect on his own service, think about his fellow veterans and, most importantly, remember all the servicemen and women who gave their lives for our freedom.

“Memorial Day means a lot to me,” he said.

“You have to remember and honor all the people who sacrificed for our country. You have to remember them before you look to the future.”

Donnelly, who served in the Vietnam War, now serves as the commander of Green Township VFW Post 10380.

The organization will hold its annual Memorial Day ceremony at 2 p.m. Monday, May 26, at Veterans Park, 6231 Harrison Ave., Green Township.

The ceremony takes place on the park’s patriotic plaza, in the shadow of the township’s Veterans Tribute Bell, and includes the singing of the national anthem and “God Bless America” by Michelle Hilgrove, accompanied by Don Bill on the trumpet.

Army veteran Bob Abrams, who is the post’s chaplain, wouldn’t think twice about missing the ceremony.

“This day honors all veterans who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country and for the ones who have passed after their service to our country,” he said.

Larry Chuma, an Army veteran who served in Vietnam and is a trustee of the VFW post, said the observance also includes the burning of the names of veterans from the post who have died since last Memorial Day.

“It is a very moving ceremony as the names are called and the tower bell is rung,” he said.

Donnelly said support from the community at the ceremony has grown each year and last year more than 200 people attended. He said it’s great to see veterans and members of the community take time to honor the fallen.

“It’s very touching,” he said. “It makes you proud to have served.

To learn more about Green Township VFW Post 10380 or get information about the ceremony, visit www.vfw10380.org.

Veterans Day Ceremony Monday November 11

Written by Kurt Backscheider

VETDAY PictGreen Township VFW Post 10380 honor guard members, left to right, Roger Sand, Joseph Zang and Pete Rebold fired three symbolic shots into the air during a past Veterans Day ceremony. The Green Township post will present its annual Veterans Day tribute Monday, Nov. 11. / File photo

GREEN TWP. — To Jack Snyder, Veterans Day is a time for honoring all his comrades.

“We know what they went through,” said Snyder, a member of Green Township VFW Post 10380 and a U.S. Navy veteran who served in World War II.

“If we don’t honor our veterans they will be forgotten, and we don’t want to forget. We want to always remember.”

The Green Township VFW post will salute the men and women who served our country during its annual Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11, at Veterans Park, 6231 Harrison Ave.

Snyder said the post has presented its Veterans Day ceremony at the park every year since the park opened in 1992.

The program, which takes place on the park’s memorial plaza, will feature a flag ceremony, the singing of the national anthem, prayer, a rifle salute, ringing of the bells in the Veterans Tribute Tower and the playing of taps, he said.

“It’s a standard format honoring the veterans,” he said.

Larry Chuma, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Vietnam and is a trustee of the VFW post, said this year’s guest speaker is Ken Kreuter, father of fallen U.S. Marine Sgt. David Kreuter, who was killed in action in Iraq in August 2005.

“Our program usually turns out to be a solemn ceremony,” Chuma said. “It’s a day of tribute.”

He said Memorial Day is a day for remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms, but Veterans Day honors military veterans of all ages, living and deceased, who served in all eras.

“It’s one day we set aside to thank all who served,” he said.

Snyder said he always thinks about the guys with whom he served on Veterans Day.

“It’s a way to celebrate their service and the time they gave to the country,” he said. “I think of it as a day of remembrance, and I’m sure a lot of veterans view it the same way I do.”

While the ceremony is typically well attended by area veterans and elected officials, post members would also like to see as many community members as possible attend.

For more information, visit www.vfw10380.org.

LaSalle Senior Honors Veterans

VeteransParkProjectGREEN TWP. — Trey Prybal said the township’s Veterans Park honors military veterans in many ways, but he noticed there was something missing.

The park features the Veterans Tribute Tower, a memorial plaza and an old Army tank, but flags representing the military branches have never flown above the park.

Through his Eagle Scout project, Prybal set out to change that.

The Green Township teen, who is entering his senior year at La Salle High School, recently completed the installation of six flagpoles at the park’s memorial plaza. The poles fly the flags of the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Merchant Marines.

“When I was doing my merit badge for lifesaving, I was talking to my merit badge counselor about what I should to for my Eagle Scout project and he said I should do something that inspires me,” said Prybal, a member of Boy Scout Troop 850 at St. Ignatius Church.

“I’ve been considering going into the Marines, so I thought it would be a good idea to raise the flags of all the different military branches for the veterans.”

He received donations from family members to purchase the poles and flags, and said he led a team of nine people to install them at the park. After the poles were erected, Prybal and his crew finished the project by putting down new mulch.

A total of 99.5 volunteer hours were put into the project, he said.

“It felt pretty good to finish it,” he said. “I think a lot of veterans who see it will be proud.”

Patricia Prybal, Trey’s mother, said she and her husband couldn’t be happier their son accomplished his goal of becoming an Eagle Scout.

“We’re very proud of him for sticking with it and doing such a nice job,” she said. “His project looks so nice. We’re happy he finished it.”

Trey said he realized he chose the right project for his Eagle Scout the day he was at the park laying mulch.

As they were spreading the mulch around, he said a little girl, clutching a small American flag and walking alongside her mother, approached him.

The girl asked if she could place her flag at the base of the pole flying the Marine Corps flag in honor of her father who is serving in the Marines.

He told her she certainly could. “It was a moving moment,” he said.

Prybal, who plays lacrosse and swims for La Salle and is also a member of the school’s Signum Fidei leadership organization, said he’s been involved in scouting since the first grade and he’s glad he completed his goal of earning the Boy Scouts’ highest honor.

“There was a lot of stress at times, but it feels good to finish it,” he said. “I had a lot of motivation to see it through.”

He expects to receive the rank of Eagle Scout during a court of honor ceremony sometime this August.

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/AB/20130720/NEWS01/307200026/La-Salle-senior-honors-veterans-Eagle-Scout-project