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Larece Galer brings you the latest military news. To submit items for this column or the online listings, send them to: The News-Herald, Attn.: Larece Galer, 7085 Mentor Ave., Willoughby, OH 44094; fax to 440-975-2293; or via email to

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Education Center ground breaking will house more that mementos

I cannot help but wonder what my life would have been like without the Vietnam veterans who have been a part of it.
The groundbreaking for the Education Center at the Wall in Washington, D.C., was Wednesday. The center will put faces to all of those names inscribed on that highly polished black granite wall, The Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
This generation of warriors had a vision and made it come true. “The Wall” is a memorial to the 58,000 men and women who gave their lives in Vietnam. It’s a memorial that will stand as a testament to those who served in a very tumultuous time.
Draftees or volunteers, those who served came back changed. Just ask any mother with a son who went to Vietnam. One of those mothers once told me she couldn’t watch war movies because of the way her boy had changed since his service time in Vietnam.
The Vietnam veterans seem to be the most vocal about recognizing the service of the newest generation of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. The Vietnam veterans are putting their money where their mouths are, and the Education Center also will serve as an interim memorial for the young men and women who have not or will not return from the ongoing conflicts.
The Education Center also will house the collection of more than 400,000 pieces of memorabilia that have been left in tribute at the Wall since it opened 30 years ago.
Not having the Marines and soldiers in my life who served during this awful war is unimaginable, the pride I feel in saying that my husband, two brothers and two cousins served cannot be described. They all have taught me how to enjoy the moment, how to communicate without saying a word and how to give unconditionally even when the appreciation for that giving is not there.

Pearl Harbor Day at Hellriegel’s Inn
The annual Pearl Harbor Day remembrance dinner will be 6 p.m. Dec. 7 at Hellriegel’s Inn, 1840 Mentor Ave. in Painesville. The guest speaker will be Army Lt. Col. David Barlett. Cocktails at 6 p.m. will be followed with a T-bone steak dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 per person and spouses and attendants are welcome. For details and tickets, call 440-354-9530.
The committee will be setting up the hall on Thursday and volunteers would be welcomed to help.

‘Fill the Cruiser’
“Fill the Cruiser” will be noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Fairport Harbor Veterans of Foreign Wars Post , 540 New St. in Fairport Harbor. The post and Fairport Harbor police will host the community Christmas party to benefit Toys for Tots. There also will be a remote broadcast by country station WKKY-FM 104.7 during the party.
Donate a new unwrapped toy and then join in the activities inside. The afternoon will include games, crafts, music, prizes and visits from some special guests. Photos with Santa will be available 2 to 4 p.m. followed by a visit from Jungle Terry. For details, call the post home at 440-352-1123.

Toys for Tots collection in Chester Township
The Luczkowski Agency, 8045 Mayfield Road in Chester Township, is teaming up with local U.S. Marines to be an official drop-off location for the holiday Toys for Tots campaign. Please bring new, unwrapped toys as donation for this worthy cause during regular office hours from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays. For more information, call Karen Martinkowski at 440-729-4042.

Honor Flight fund raiser successful
AMVETS Post 109, 7847 Lake Shore Blvd. in Mentor-on-the-Lake, hosted a successful Honor Flight fundraiser. The event raised $2,693 for the Honor Flight program. Tony’s Subway Inn of Painesville donated the spaghetti sauce for the spaghetti dinner and Modern Woodman matched money raised up to $1,000.

Military families honored with free admission
The Lake Metroparks Board of Park Commissioners will honor Lake County military families with free admission (immediate families only) to Country Lights at Lake Metroparks Farmpark from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 12. Advanced registration is required and tickets are limited. Tickets include the Toy Workshop. Please call Farmpark admissions at 440-256-2158 to reserve tickets by Dec. 5. A Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System card is required at time of admission.

Willoughby Legion delivers food baskets
Palmer-Roberts American Legion Post 214 delivered food baskets to six families with 16 children for Thanksgiving. The collection has begun for food, gifts and monetary donations for Christmas food baskets and Santa items for the children. Donations should be made by Dec. 13.
The auxiliary members also are collecting new or slightly used blankets to be taken to homeless shelters. The deadline for blanket collection is Jan. 17. All donations may be made at the post home, 4304 Center St.. in Willoughby.

To submit items for this column or the online listings, send them to: The News-Herald, Attn.: Larece Galer, 7085 Mentor Ave., Willoughby, OH 44094; fax to 440-975-2293; or via email to

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