A large group of World War II veterans gathered with their wives, sons and daughters, and special guests, recently for lunch and the opportunity of spending quality time with fellow servicemen who fought in one of the nation’s longest and deadliest wars.
More than 30 veterans from both the European and Pacific theaters attended the event held at Shoney’s. The luncheon was organized by WWII veteran Bill Oehlecker of Lake Tansi.
This was a follow-up to an similar luncheon held in Crossville in May and was held last week for those who could not attend the earlier luncheon because of space limitations.
Special guests included four Crossville area National Guard members who spoke to the group and thanked the veterans for their service. The guardsmen were Sgt. First Class Michael Crisp, SSgt. Terry Kirby, SSgt. Kelly Deming and Spec. William Russell, all of whom have served tours of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan. They also were recognized by their hosts for their military service.
Tribute was paid to all veterans of all wars, and especially to those who made the supreme sacrifice for their country. Veterans were reminded of their dedicated service and for preserving the way of life the country has enjoyed since WWII ended more than 65 years ago.
Special recognition was given the oldest veteran in attendance — age 93 — as well as the veteran who was the first to enlist (December 1940) and veteran who had the longest years of service (22 years).
Many door prizes donated by Walmart and Kroger were distributed.
Future meetings are planned and notice of the next gathering will appear in the Chronicle.