Seminole Lake Rotary has the privilege of hosting several distinguished veterans and thanking them for their incredible service. On Veteran’s Day, the club held a special program honoring 25 veterans. It was a incredibly humbling and heart warming event being amongst this group of dedicated men and women who’d served our country in the armed forces.
As the veterans arrived, they were treated to a full breakfast and had the opportunity to talk and reminisce. We were glad to be joined by club founding member and former Seminole mayor Jimmy Johnson.
President Glenn Stamm opened the program and welcoming our guests. Our sergeant at arms, Gerry Cachia, read off the names of our nearly 30 guests.
Next, after the invocation, we were treated to a full color guard presentation of our nation’s flag. Once the colors had been placed, we said the pledge of allegiance. The devotion and patriotism present in the room was palpable.
Next, past president Doug Meyer provided a history of the pledge of allegiance, which took us through many years of American history. Following this, we were treated to a touching rendition of the national anthem by one of our very own Osceola High School students.
One of the distinguished veterans who joined us for the program was State Representative Larry Ahern. Glenn asked Larry to speak for a few minutes. Larry gave a heartfelt tribute to the veterans present.
Glenn then asked if any of the veterans would share stories from their time in the military. He started by asking Tim Schuler to show us that he still fit comfortably in his uniform. One of the insightful veterans present pointed out that military uniforms shrink if you don’t wear them, at which point, Tim seemed to take a mental note to wear his more often. Next, Glenn asked Gary Marcus to share his unique experiences early in his military career. Combining his incomparable storytelling skills with stories that brought images of Gomer Pyle, Gary had us in stitches as he described hilarious interactions with commanding officers which he was fortunate didn’t land him in the brig. Pat Suto then shared about her time in the Nurse Corps. Jim McConnell shared a harrowing story of his time flying in the Navy.
The program closed with a Bell Ceremony, presented by past and incoming president, George Bessler, including a history of the bell ceremony.
The veterans in attendance included: Bill Bauers, Bill Gillespie, Bob Cadzow, Daniel Spool, Dave Wetzel, Ed Hallock, Frank Turner, Fred Fabi, Gary Marcus, George Stone, Glenn Stamm, Herb Smith, Jim McConnell, Jimmy Johnson, Joe Mundy, Larry Ahern, Mel Cook, Mike Haygood, Mike Mason, Pat Suto, Ray Holmes, Roger Wilson, Sandra Lilo, Sid Sturm, Stan Beach, Steve Suto, Stuart Stauss, Tim Schuler. We offer our sincere gratitude for their service and sacrifice.