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Remembering Speener Hose

December 02, 2005

The photo that accompanies this editorial shows the late Speener Hose with a serious expression. He was a serious person, especially when it came to serving and honoring veterans of America's armed forces.

But it would be wrong to conclude that he was a joyless man. He was not. He approached the job he'd taken on with a humor and enthusiasm that was infectious, that made you just want to help him accomplish whatever project he had taken on.

As his daughter noted, he called himself a "professional bum" because he approached so many organizations and businesses seeking funds and services to honor and assist veterans.

And he did those things, not for his own aggrandizement, but because he believed veterans were due all the honor and the help he could round up for them.

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He organized a local parade for the 60th anniversary of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, but he also began a project to try to ensure that their stories would not be forgotten after they were gone.

In 2003, he told The Herald-Mail his own story about how he'd joined the Navy at age 17, then went on to Australia and New Guinea. With his own memories, he primed the pump, so to speak, encouraging other veterans to share their stories with another generation.

"I get these notions and I can't stop until I get them on the road," he said. Now this friend of veterans is on the road to a better place and a reward he richly deserves.

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