06-13-2019 Letters and Commentary

Correction In the June 6, 2019 issue of Tri-City Record, an error was made on Page 9 showcasing the Coloma High School Class of 2019. In error, the photo is of the Class of 2018 instead of this year’s class photo. See Page 9 this week for the correct photo. Tri-City Record is sorry for any inconvenience or confusion this error may have caused.

Why was Veteran Kenneth Chappel missing from Memorial Day service roll call

Dear Editor, Again a beautiful ceremony at the Watervliet City Cemetery to honor our deceased veterans from the area. As usual North Berrien County Military Rites Team did a wonderful job; thanks for their service. My family and I are wondering who makes the veterans roll call list of recently deceased veterans from our area. We were surprised when Kenneth Chappel whom passed June 14 of 2018 was not listed. He was born and lived most of his life in Watervliet, played sports and graduated from Watervliet in 1967. He served his country proudly during the Vietnam War stationed in Korea. He lived in Coloma at the time of his death. Ken was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and past post commander of American Legion Post 362 in Coloma. Ken was laid to rest in Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta on July 13, 2018 with full military honors. His family, friends and I feel he should have been acknowledged in the Memorial Day Veterans Roll Call. Thanks, Ruth Thornton Chappel

Pesticide container recycling program launches soon

The Van Buren Conservation District is launching a free, non-regulatory empty pesticide container recycling program Tuesday, June 18. For anyone that has rigid, HDPE plastic containers that are 55 gallons or less and once held pesticides used for purposes other than home use, they can sign-up to have these jugs collected and recycled. For a full description of eligible containers, please visit https://www.VanBurenCD.org/ To participate in the program, residents can sign up with the Van Buren Conservation District and schedule appointments to drop the jugs off. Appointment times are available the first and third Tuesday of every month April through September between 12:00 noon and 4:00 p.m. To sign up for the program and learn more, please call the Recycling Coordinator, Emilly Hickmott, at (269) 657-4030 x5 or stop into the office located at 1035 E Michigan Avenue, Paw Paw.

Lest We Forget salutes Navy in Anchors Aweigh weekend event June 22-23

AIR, LAND and SEA sponsored by Lest We Forget will take place on June 22-23, 2019 at 275 Upton Drive, St. Joseph. Featuring the United States Navy, “Anchors Aweigh” will include presentations from two Medal of Honor recipients, Donald E. Ballard and James McCloughan. Donald E. (Doc) Ballard, a Navy Corpsman (medic), “volunteered” to be a medic for the Marines. He was assigned to Vietnam in 1967 where he officially received three Purple Hearts but it should have been eight as he treated himself on five occasions. One of his heroic actions was to smother a hand grenade so that it wouldn’t injure a group of Marines. Fortunately, it never went off. Doc later joined the Army and retired as an Army Colonel. He operates a funeral home in Missouri and provides funerals for veterans who don’t have funds. James McCloughan was drafted into the United States Army in 1968 and became a combat medic. In May 1969 he distinguished himself in fighting near Tam Ky at Nui Yon Hill, in which he treated the wounded while fighting North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces. McCloughan was wounded multiple times during the battle but refused evacuation. After his discharge from the army, he returned to his hometown of South Haven, Michigan, where he became a high school teacher and athletic coach. The National Museum of the American Sailor representatives, Tricia Runzel and Kelly Duffy, will present “The Skies Above Great Lakes.” It is about the Naval Aviation History at Naval Station Great Lakes. This discussion begins by informing on how the Navy became involved with aviation. They address Great Lakes association with Naval Aviation during both World Wars and conclude with the wider regions efforts to advance Naval Aviation during World War II. To continue this story Daniel Brandt from the Restoration Department at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo will discuss the restoration of two WWII aircraft recovered from Lake Michigan. The Douglas Dauntless SBD-2P and FM-2 Wildcat met a watery fate when WWII pilots trained with carriers steaming through Lake Michigan. Jason Kuntz will tell the story of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis. In 1945 the ship was torpedoed by the Imperial Japanese navy submarine I-58 and sank in 12 minutes. Of 1,195 crewmen aboard, approximately 300 went down with the ship. Learn the fate of the remaining 890 sailors. John Meeks attended Scout Dog School at Fort Benning, Georgia. When he arrived in Vietnam Meeks became the sixth handler to an experienced scout dog named Artus. The German shepherd was killed in action on December 11, 1970. Meeks says, “The dogs of Vietnam, the dogs of today all serve with honor, courage and loyalty.” John and his recently retired military dog have a great story to tell. Adam Gray learned to scuba dive and saw the plane that went down in 1944 where the remains of his great uncle, Bud Rybarczyk, were recovered in 2017 and returned to St. Joseph for burial. Learn more about the life of Albert “Bud” Rybarczyk and how he has changed Adam’s life. In addition to these speaker presentations there will be several displays. The USS Silversides (Ss-236), a Gato-class submarine, was one of the most successful submarines in the Pacific Theater of WWII, with four patrols and 12 battle stars. She presently serves as a museum ship in Muskegon, Michigan and is a National Historic Landmark. The USS LST 393 is an LST-1-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy during WWII. Of 1,051 built, this LST is one of only two to survive in original configuration. She is now a museum ship in Muskegon. The USS EDSON, a Forrest Sherman-class destroyer, served in the Western Pacific/Far East, operating particularly in the Taiwan Strait and off the coast of Vietnam. Her exceptionally meritorious service in 1964 in the Gulf of Tonkin was recognized with the first of three Navy Unit Commendations. During the following years she was shelled by North Vietnamese land forces, and apparently received friendly fire from the US Air Force. She is now a museum ship docked in Bay City, Michigan. Master Modeler, Jerry Lindquist, has military artifacts and several base camp dioramas with thousands of green chiclets for sand bags. Twentieth Century War Museum is a hands-on experience. Their armory and motor pool will educate and thrill kids of all ages. Historian Bill Sheets has a naval display and will also narrate the five scheduled reenactment battles including the use of a flame thrower. The Spirit of America Flag designer, Dale Hemphill, Armed Service Recruiters, the Red Cross and more will be on site. Lest We Forget welcomes back three WWII boats: an LVT-2 Buffalo, a DUKW and a Higgins Boat. Membership in Lest We Forget includes rides in all three watercraft. Attendees will be able to join LWF on site. One-year membership dues are as follows: Individual, $10; two adults & children 17 and under, $25; one adult & children 17 and under, $15; 80 years and older is free. The American Huey 369 offer Honor Flights to member/owners. One hundred dollar donation will make donor a member/owner for one year. The Fortunate Sons, the world’s greatest tribute to America’s greatest band – Creedence Clearwater Revival – will perform a free concert Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. Based in Chicago, the band tours nationally and internationally to keep the tradition of CCR’s timeless music alive. Using original vintage gear and instruments, accurate costumes and spot on musical ability, The Fortunate Sons instantly conjure up the full experience of seeing CCR in their prime. Concert goers are encouraged to bring their own lawn chair. Food vendors will be on site. For a complete list of activities and speaker time schedules visit: www.LestWeForgetUSA.org.