WARSAW — A part of the annual Veterans Day Program in Warsaw is the presentation of the Order of Kosciuszko Award and Meritorious Service Award, presented by the Sons of American Legion Squad 49.
Robert “Bob” Savage and Fred Vining were recipients of these two awards.
John Sadler, a member of the SAL, presented Vining with the Meritorious Service Award. This award is given to a person or organization that has supported local veterans and their goals. “This year it is awarded to a person who is quietly serving,” stated Sadler.
Sadler noted he is classified as a servant (one who serves another), a volunteer (a person who voluntarily and willingly offers themselves for service), and most importantly a friend (a person who gives assistance without reservation).
Vining is the father of four boys, nine grandchildren and active in shooting sports. His father served in Germany. He teaches young people to learn about the second amendment rights and safety. He has served in shooting sports for the Legion, 4-H and supports the Kosciusko County Shrine Club. He has served with honor as a 13-year member of the American Legion Honor Guard, while honoring hundreds of veterans and their families. He is commander of the Sons of the American Legion and is a life member.
John Locke, also a member of the SAL, presented the “Order of Kosciuszko” Award to Savage. This award honors Thaddeus Kosciuszko who came to America from Poland and volunteered his service to the Continental Congress and Gen. George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Kosciuszko’s expertise in engineering was invaluable in developing fortifications, most notably what is now West Point. He was a brigadier general and given citizenship, but returned to Poland to fight for liberty for his homeland.
Locke noted “this annual award is given to someone in the county who has given exceptional service to God, country and others in the spirit of the Revolutionary War hero.”
Savage served in the Army, starting June 1, 1951 and completed courses at the quarter master’s school on Oct. 1, 1951. He served in Korea, receiving the Korean Service Medal with three bronze service stars and the United Nation’s service medal. He achieved the rank of corporal and was separated from the service on May 14, 1953, and from the Red Reserve in 1956.
“He has lived a quiet life,” said Locke noting not a lot of information could be found about Savage. What is known is he has been a member of the John C. Peterson Post 49 for “a long time, is a long time trustee and served on the honor guard so long no one remembers. He is always there to make sure (a veteran) is laid to rest with dignity and honor.” Savage is also a member of the VFW Post 1126 and member of Warsaw Lions Club. He has made numerous trips to Mexico and other places “to help those in need through the Lions Eye Glass and Vision programs.”