WARSAW — Kosciusko Community Senior Services and Liberty Sewing Circle helped recognize eight World War II veterans on Wednesday, Sept. 18.
The Threads of Valor quilt presentation and luncheon was hosted by Kosciusko Community Senior Services inside the Pete Thorn Center at 800 N. Park Ave., Warsaw.
Liberty Sewing Circle consists of a group of women from the community who create quilts for local veterans. The quilts are presented at Threads of Valor ceremonies.
The honorees were earlier nominated for the recognition.
Veterans honored at Wednesday’s event were John Anglin, Paul Haney, Raymond Hartman, Richard Higgins, Jack Horney, Donald Shively, Wayne Teeple and Rex Wildman.
The Threads of Valor tradition began in 2015 and is held twice a year to honor veterans.
Wednesday’s event focused on World War II veterans because the number of those still alive is shrinking.
“Their numbers are dwindling fast,” said Kathy Snell, who established the event five years ago. “We knew that with only 85 or so living in Kosciusko County, we wanted to make sure we got them up here and made the quilts and presented them as quickly as we could.”
Among those speaking and thanking the veterans for their service at the event were State Rep. Dave Wolkins, of Warsaw and Rich Maron, Kosciusko County Veterans Affairs officer
The following are short summaries of the eight honorees, based on information provided to InkFreeNews:
John Anglin — He was a sergeant in the U.S. Army and served in the Battle of Hurtgen Forest, the Battle of the Bulge and was at Remagen for the taking for the bridge. One of his brothers, Bill, died from injuries suffered in the Battle of the Bulge. After returning home, he and two other brothers help found the Clunette Elevator.
Paul Haney — He was a Musician 3rd Class in the U.S. Navy and served in a combat zone after the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan. Afterward, he worked as a missionary for 32 years in Africa.
Raymond Hartman — He was a Sergeant Technician in the U.S. Army. He was deployed to England, France, Belgium and Germany during the heart of the war. His division was the first U.S. division to meet up with the Russians at the Elbe River in Germany near the end of the war. After returning home, he worked as a lineman for REMC for 44 years.
Richard Higgins — He was a Motor Machine Mechanic 3rd Class in the U.S. Navy. He was awarded the WWII Victory Medal, Asiatic Pacific Area Campaign Medal and the award for Invasion of Okinawa. Afterward, he worked for 12 years as a conservation officer and eventually took over the Jonah Club from his father.
Jack Horney — He was a Petty Officer Third Class in the U.S. Navy. He was sent to Norfolk, Va., and Casablanca where they had 24 boats on the ship to invade areas as needed. Afterward, he worked in a furniture factory and at Korth Furniture.
Donald Shively — He was a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army. He served for four years. He was part of the occupation of Japan and the Philippines.
Wayne Teeple — He was a Technical Sergeant in the U.S. Army. He spent 18 months in the Armored Divison, working with communications and morse code. He was in France and was preparing to ship out to Japan when the U.S. dropped its atomic bomb on Hiroshima and soon returned home.
Rex Wildman — He was a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Force. Trained as a pilot, he was assigned to the China, India and Burma Theater where he became one of the famous “hump pilots,” flying troops and supplies from Burma over the Himalaya mountains to assist the Chinese in their fight against the Japanese army. He flew more than 50 missions. Afterward, he returned home, and eventually established Wildman Business Group and served on Warsaw City Council.
At noon, the veterans and other guests — an estimated 160 people — were served a meal. American Legion Post 49 of Warsaw presented the colors at the beginning of the ceremony.