By John Montesano –
Due to a crisis in my personal life, the Veteran of the Month feature was temporarily put on hold, but it will be resumed in April. That personal situation was full of a great deal of grieving and reflection. How the passing of an individual affects so many family and friends is profound. So many seek the words to help alleviate their pain and that of others. In the end, the offer of our condolences is enough.
With that in mind, I was struck by the passing of a number of our previous Veteran of the Month veterans. It seemed only right to honor, respect and remember them one last time. Here they are, listed in the order of their Veteran of the Month published salutes.
• March 2015: Al Cinto, Merchant Marines, 1944-1946, Atlantic and Pacific Theater; Army, 1951-1952, recipient of double purple heart in Korea.
• April 2015: Ray Alderman, Navy, 1943-1945, USS Thornhill, the “Oil King.”
• May 2015: Delmar Gerth, Army, 1944-1946, sergeant, served in France as an assistant chaplain.
• November 2015: Don Thompson, Navy, 1944-1945, lieutenant commander; flew P2V Neptune anti-submarine aircraft.
• April, 2016: Dick Horn, Army Air Force, 1942-1945, served in New Guinea with 5th Air Force.
• May 2016: John Detzler, Air Force, 1945-1947, worked as a clerk.
• July 2016: Bill Gaston, 1951-1952, 5th Army, served in Korea in the motor pool.
• December, 2016: Duane Stone, 1951-1953, Army Engineers, served in Pusan, Korea, a barbed wire specialist.
• Not a Veteran of the Month: Carlos Guerra, Navy, 1944-1947; gunner on USS Juitt DD306 and USS Intrepid CV11.
Each one of these veterans proudly served his country and returned home to serve his community. They and their families enjoyed the freedom for which they served.
We salute and thank them for their service and pray that they rest in peace.
We offer our condolences to their families and friends. May peace and comfort find them.