Veterans honored at Long Branch


AMBOY — Veterans who recently went to Washington D.C. on the Honor Flight gathered at the Long Branch Saloon as guests of the American Legion Auxiliary.

Joyce Schamberger, Auxiliary president, welcomed the veterans, their guests and people from the community who came to pay tribute to those who gave years of their lives to protect the freedom we enjoy today.

Father Kramer gave the blessing and following dinner each veteran was interviewed by Darlene Hinkle, Auxiliary member.

Fascinating, sometimes heart breaking, sometimes hilarious stories were shared during the evening of fellowship but one thing was clear each of those gentlemen were grateful for the turnout of people of all ages, especially enjoying the young children shaking their hands, finally the thank you so late in coming after a very sad and hateful homecoming for most of them who served during the Vietnam War. They all agreed that their day on the Honor Flight was one of the best days of their lives.

Those present were Dennis Child and Jim Searls, of Amboy; Art Atillano, Bob Hoyle, Dennis Moss, Tom Palmer, and Joe Searls, of Dixon; Ed Morris, of Harmon; Dave Haenitch, of Lee Center; Kevin Baumgartner, Al Hansen, Roy Rogers, Larry Smith, of Ohio; Charles Rapp, of Mendota; and Dennis Barrett and Melvin Bonnell, of Sublette.

Sue Becker, told about being recognized at a ceremony on behalf of her late father, Robert Dempsey, and how she served that day as a guardian. Terry Garland, Committee member of the Honor Flight team spoke about the background of the group. Garland said 88 World War ll veterans, 86 Korean veterans, and 119 Vietnam veterans, have been sent on the Honor Flight to date.

After dinner drinks were provided for the more than 50 people present compliments of the Long Branch owners.