Thank You, George Yano
The letter was a thank you from the president of the United States for his World War II service and it caught him by complete surprise.
Yano, who will be 90 years old in April, was a farm boy who moved to Cleveland from Pennsylvania. He began working almost as soon as he could walk and has seen the world.
He joined the Navy in 1942 and after boot camp was sent to California as a Naval armed guard. Only a few sailors were chosen for the duty as a ship’s compliment usually consisted of 12 to 25 Naval armed guards. The duty was hazardous on Merchant Marine vessels carrying supplies to the troops stationed around the globe as they were high priority targets for the Axis powers.
Yano’s travels aboard ship took him to Australia then sailing on to Calcutta through the Bay of Bengal. The ship went on through the Suez Canal, crossing the Mediterranean and finally across the Atlantic Ocean and into New York. He had shore duty for a while at the Armed Guard Center in New York, before receiving orders for California. He was preparing for the invasion of Japan when word came that the atomic bomb had been dropped.
“Truman dropped the bomb, saved my life,” Yano said.
He was discharged in 1945 and returned home to start his businesses. He built homes, including the one he lives in. He sold real estate and owned gas stations, five at one time.
Beginning as Gulf Gas Stations, he owns two repair shops, one at Vine Street and Lake Shore Boulevard in Willowick that has been there since 1949, and the other just west of Andrews Road on Lake Shore Boulevard in Mentor.
Honor Flight Cleveland begins seventh year of flights
Honor Flight Cleveland will begin the seventh year of flights for World War II and Korean veterans to Washington to see their memorial.
Applications for veterans and guardians wishing to sign up for the 2013 year can be found at www.HonorFlightCleveland.com. All flights are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Veterans fly free and guardians pay $250 for the day trip. Nine flights are scheduled between May and November. Guardians must also attend a 11⁄2 -hour training session which are 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month beginning in April at the Mentor VFW Post, 8682 Mentor Ave. and no reservations are required.
For details, call Jam Merrick at 440-639-9368 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CPAs volunteer for
The Ohio Society of CPAs is offering free tax preparation services to Ohio military families this tax season.
Now through April, Ohio Certified Public Accountants will prepare 2012 tax returns for military personnel who are permanent residents of Ohio and currently deployed outside of the state.
To find an Operation CPA volunteer in your area, call The Ohio Society of CPAs toll free at 888-959-1212 or email email@example.com.
Madison VFW Auxiliary
The annual craft bazaar of the Ladies Auxiliary of Madison VFW Post 8548, will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 9, at Stratton Place, 126 W. Main St. in Madison Village. The public is invited.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Madison Food Bank.
Annual Oink and Squeal
at Burton post
The Oink and Squeal Party with raffle and Chinese auction will begin at 5 p.m. March 23 at the Burton American Legion Hall, 14052 Goodwin St.
Doors will open at 5 p.m. and raffle will begin at 7 p.m. Raffle tickets are $2 each and auction tickets are 10 for $1.
Prizes for the evening include cash and 20 hams. Admission is nonperishable food items, bath items or cash donations for the local food bank.
Food will be available for purchase through the Legion kitchen.
For tickets, contact an American Legion Ladies Auxiliary member.
Abbey Rodeo to appear
at Willoughby post
Willoughby VFW Post 1500, 38295 Pelton Road, will host a fundraiser spaghetti dinner followed by a performance of Abbey Rodeo beginning at 6 p.m. March 23.
Tickets are $18 a person and due to advance sales, tickets may not be available the night of the event.
For tickets, call 440-951-9233 or go in person to the post home.
All proceeds will benefit “The Littlest Heroes” as well as the VFW National Children’s Home, Cleveland Area VA Hospital treats and care packages for the troops.
Ladies serve breakfast
The Ladies Auxiliary of VFW Post 7754, 540 New St. in Fairport Harbor, will host Lenten breakfasts from 8 a.m. to noon, Sundays through March 24, at the post home.
Proceeds will benefit veteran projects.
For details, call the post at 440-352-1123.
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 LGaler@News-Herald.com.