Hermann's veterans honored

Hermann's veterans honored

Ray Scherer

The Hermann area turned out en masse last Thursday, Veterans Day, to solemnly observe the contributions of military service from recent times and the longer past.

Hermann High School served as the site for a breakfast and special program to honor veterans, with the school's FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) chapter in charge of the festivities. A Missing Man table was on display as one of the honors.

Chapter President Hali Overkamp said the event was held to recognize the local and area veterans for "unwavering service" to the nation. She said the service members set aside personal ambition to ensure the well-being of everyone in the U.S.

Dr. Geoff Neill, superintendent of Gasconade County R-1 Schools, lauded the veterans courage, dedication, and sacrifice, "helping make Hermann such a great place to live."

Guest speaker was Joe Horton, who was born in Hermann and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1966, soon thereafter serving a yearlong tour of duty in Vietnam. All six children for he and wife Elaine are graduates of Hermann High School, with two of his daughters and a son-in-law teaching in the school district.

"They are the citizens who became soldiers," Horton said of veterans, whom he said have come from all walks of life.

Serving in Vietnam was an eye-opener for him.

"What I had seen on the evening news reports now became very real," said Horton.

Referring to the Stephen Ambrose book Citizen Soldiers, he said those service members from the Hermann area were selfless in their sacrifices to the country.

The FCCLA featured a Wall of Honor at the school that raised $435.85 in donations, money which is being given to Central Missouri Honor Flight, a Columbia-based organization that transports veterans to Washington, D.C., to view the memorials that pay tribute to their service and sacrifice.