Veterans honored at Village at Robinwood

November 12, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

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HAGERSTOWN -- A contingent of Marines hosted a Veterans Day ceremony Tuesday at The Village at Robinwood, an assisted-living facility near Hagerstown.

The event was attended by about 50 veterans and their spouses, who were treated to cake, punch and a visit from U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md.

Bartlett thanked the veterans for their service.

"In this room, we have heroes -- men who have sacrificed much," Bartlett said. "If it weren't for you, we wouldn't be here ... We are really indebted to you for your service."


Bartlett, 82, told the audience that he took a military physical during World War II, but never was called to duty.

Robert Cleland, 94, cut the first piece of cake, which sat next to a punch bowl on a table that was adorned with red, white and blue decorations.

An Army veteran, Cleland said he was thankful that the Marine Corps and The Village at Robinwood took the time on Tuesday to honor veterans.

"I saw action from New Guinea all the way to Japan," said Cleland, who added the Japanese were fierce opponents. "They believed in dying instead of surrendering."

Cleland said President Harry S. Truman's decision to drop two atomic bombs on Japan "saved a lot of lives," and remembered seeing Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur on an island in the Pacific Theater.

"He was right with the men (in the combat zone)," Cleland said.

Oble Yoder, 80, said in a soft voice that he served with the U.S. Army Air Corps as a radar instructor.

"I thought the (Veterans Day) ceremony was wonderful," he said.

One of Yoder's most vivid memories of the military was writing a manual that the Air Force used for many years to help train students in radar school.

Yoder said veterans never should be forgotten.

"We should honor veterans and the present military," Yoder said. "We need to honor the fellas who are fighting for us now. There are so many sacrifices being made. People are dying right and left."

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