Lakeside veterans reflect on tours of duty

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Town Crier News Staff

Veterans at Lakeside Nursing Center were honored on Friday, Nov. 10, as a special Veteran's Day luncheon was held.

Guest speaker for the event was Ted Pylant, president of Craighead County Veterans' Monument Foundation. Pylant, a Vietnam veteran, gave each veteran at Lakeside a flag, poster, and a special thank you for their service to their country.

"We have young men and women serving today," Pylant said. "Regardless of our politics, we need to serve them. When I came back from Vietnam we were not treated well. I don't want that to ever happen again."

Those honored included men who had served during World War II and Korea. They are Sergeant John D. Slatton (Army); Private Harold Mundt (Marines), Private J.W. Nance (Army), Sergeant Bryan Jelks (Army Air Force), Staff Sergeant Howard A. Greenway (Army); 1st Sergeant Wilburn Smith (Air Force); and Private John Greer (Army).

Pylant invited each veteran to take part in the Veteran's Day festivities including a parade and ceremonies at the courthouse.

"God bless you and God bless America," Pylant said.

He encouraged the veterans to tell their life stories.

"Get someone to help you write down your personal memories," Pylant said. "We feature stories and it will be placed in the library. Tell historical events happening in your lifetime, which modern convenience you most appreciate, and share your stories."

Harold Mundt said he remembered Pearl Harbor. He was there when it was attacked.

"We were on a light cruiser and the torpedo went right under us," Mundt said.

Muhndt served five and a half years. He said once one has served in the military he has a better appreciation for America and freedom.

John Slatton served with the 103rd Infantry Division. Slatton was part of the Battle of the Bulge.

J.W. Nance served two years being stationed in West Germany during the Korean War.

Howard Greenway went into the service in 1951 and out in 1953 during the Korean Conflict. He, too, said he was glad to be home.

Bryan Jelks served stateside (mostly in Texas) working with the draft board.

"Back then the Air Force was part of the Army," he said.

John Greer volunteered and enlisted during World War II. A few months into his service he suffered from a bad fall causing back injuries and was released from the military.

"We are proud of our veteran residents and this was one way we could honor them," Linda Herrera, social director, said.

Herrera and Cathy Stout, activity director, served a barbecue luncheon to the veterans and guests. They presented each Veteran with a cap lettered with the branch of the military service and their rank.

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