New Berlin honors local veterans’ legacy

Connor McKenzie

On Monday, November 11th, many people in the community came together to bring recognition to the proud service veterans have done for our country. There were middle school students from both West and Ike in attendance, as well as countless veterans from the community. There were many speakers, including both students and military personnel.

Breakfast Bios

Jerry Yergen 

Jerry Yergen served in the army during peacetime from 55-57. He was stationed In Italy’s missile command and was protecting Brenner Pass in the Appalachian Mountain Range. He worked on the electronics that were in the 25-foot long ordinance missiles. He also got secret clearance to go to Huntsville, Alabama for a month.

PO Gordon Kelly 

PO Gordon Kelly served in the coast guard during Vietnam. Something he will always remember is when, in Bootcamp, he was told, “You have to go out but you don’t have to come back.” He worked on a 311 ft cutter that served as one out of the 5 established weather stations. The particular weather station that he was the northernmost station named Bravo. It also served as an air rescue station and they watched and charted the float paths of Icebergs. These iceberg monitoring stations were first created after the sinking of the Titanic. In 1965, he was on another 311 ft cutter doing river patrol and was finally discharged after 4 years of port security. Then, for the next 30 years, he went into the reserve.

William “Bill” Knapp

William “Bill” Knapp served in the United States Marine Corp. from 1968-1971. He trained in the states as a bulk fuel attendant where he fueled trucks and jeeps. One day, his sergeant came up to him and asked if he knew how to work registers to which Knapp replied, “no.” The sergeant said that he would start the next Monday and in this job, he worked with files including some not touched for months. He got outstanding grades and marks and was promoted to Corporal. He was then stationed at Camp where he worked as an administrative chief. He worked hard at again got high grades and marks and was promoted to sergeant in under two years.

Chuck Esser 

Chuck Esser served in the airforce from 1970-1974 where he served as a communications specialist. He operated and maintained computer systems in both Texas and Thailand.

Verl Wolf 

Verl Wolf served in the Army from 1954-1956 where he was in charge of a motor pull which is basically a convoy. He commanded 23 drivers in hauling heavy weapons and recoilless rifles. He also operated in Germany but to get there it took 14 days to cross the ocean.

Don Springer 

Don Springer served in the Army from 1953-1955 where he served as an artilleryman working with mainly 105 howitzers. He completed basic training at camp Chaffee, Arkansas and Fort Washington. Upon completion of basic training, he took a plane to Tokyo and on the way there they landed in the Aleutian islands before Alaska was even a state. In Korea, he was stationed on the Demilitarized Zone where he worked with 204 Howitzers. It was in the middle of nowhere and they only had tents and limited supplies. He was also a clerk for Afac there as well as helping rebuild government buildings. After 4 months of Korea, he was sent back to Tokyo and then 5 months after that he was sent to the Oakland base in California. Where he stayed until he was sent back to Sheraton, IL.

Dr. Arthur Angrove and Cam Steinke 

Dr. Arthur Angrove served in the Airforce from 1953-1955 while Cam Steinke served in the army from 1970-1972. They both are heavily involved in the American Legion with Angrove being the chaplain and Steinke being the assistant chaplain. Angrove further explained, “We have a deep devotion to Jesus Christ as well as our love for helping others as well as serving God and our country.”