COMMEMORATING VETERANS DAY 2021
SALUTE VETERANS to
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2021 | www.globegazette.com | SECTION C
Clear Lake native serves in ‘Silent Service’
VETERANS DAY 2021 What: 2021 Veterans Day Ceremony When: 10:30 a.m. on Thursday (Nov. 11) Where: Central Park, downtown Mason City About the program: All veterans and members of the community are invited to attend.
A Clear Lake, Iowa, native is serving aboard USS Nebraska, one of the world’s most advanced nuclear-powered submarines. Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Tofte serves as an information systems technician and joined the Navy for the opportunities the Navy provides. “It was really the benefits of joining,” said Tofte. “I get a lot out of it like with tuition assistance for school.” Tofte attended Clear Lake High Tofte School and graduated in 2018. “I learned to put other people in front of yourself,” said Tofte. “One of the quotes in my baseball dugout was, ‘Don’t think less of yourself. Just don’t think only about yourself.’ That’s helped me build relationships with other people in the boat which made my job easier and made their jobs easier.” These lessons have helped Tofte while serving aboard USS Nebraska. Known as America’s “Silent Service,” the Navy’s submarine force operates a large fleet of technically advanced vessels. These submarines are capable of conducting rapid defensive and offensive operations around the world. There are three basic types of submarines: fast-attack submarines (SSN), ballistic-missile submarines (SSBN) and guided-missile submarines (SSGN). Fast-attack submarines are designed to hunt down and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships; strike targets ashore with cruise missiles; carry and deliver Navy SEALs; conduct intelligence, Please see TOFTE, Page C7
The annual program held at the All Vets Center that usually follows is canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.
JERRY SMITH GLOBE GAZETTE
What is Veterans Day: On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Germany surrendered, marking the end of World War I.
Pat Askildson, the current secretary and historian for the Mason City Veterans Memorial Association, looks through the organization’s original notebook with notes from 1921-1939.
Historic organization Mason City Veterans Memorial Association in its 100th year JERRY SMITH
The first meeting of the Mason City Veterans Memorial Association was on April 18, 1921. One hundred years later, the organization, whose only duty is to honor veterans in a “proper manner,” is still going strong. And still staying true to its original mission. Pat Askildson, secretary and historian for the organization, said that MCVMA was born out of World War I veterans working to remember their soldiers and turned into wanting to remember all veterans. “It makes you so proud,” Askildson said. “On Veterans Day, people come together to honor all veterans. Throughout the years,
Mason City Mayor Bill Schickel hands Mason City Veterans Memorial Association chairman Randy Solsaa the official Veterans Day proclamation during the Mason City council meeting. you are happy that people are still celebrating and remembering our veterans. Everybody still comes together.” In order to preserve the association’s history, Askildson says she has scrapbooks with most of the events that have taken place in Mason City, notebooks with meeting notes and most of the
programs from Memorial Day and Veterans Day programs. Askildson and her family have a long history with the association, starting with her grandmother, who died in 1965. Her mother then took over as secretary, and Pat took over the duties in 1998, after starting in the association in 1974. The organization’s – and Askildson’s – prized possession is the original notebook with notes from every meeting from 19211939. Askildson says it is in good condition, considering its age. According to the bylaws, the purpose of the Mason City Veterans Memorial Association is to: Erect and maintain an attractive and permanent memorial to veterans who were or are residents of the Mason City, Iowa, postal mailing area; To provide for the decoration of veteran grave sites; To observe Memorial Day in a historical, military, and proper manner;
To observe Veterans Day in a historical, military, and proper manner. Each year, the association plans programs on Memorial Day and Veterans Day to honor fallen veterans and all who served honorably. This year’s program marks the 100th anniversary. The printed program updates the total burials, broken down by different eras. As of Memorial Day 2021, there are 4,938 veterans buried at both Memorial Park Cemetery and Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery.
At the association’s first meeting back in 1921, Comrade J.H. Stevens was elected the first chairman. For years the association would hold patriotic programs at the various Mason City schools on Friday before Decoration Day, according to notes from that first meeting. “There was always Grand Army Please see HISTORIC, Page C2
Forest City native retires after 41 years in the Navy Gary Rogeness commanded fast attack submarine, among other duties MEGAN BROWN
MILLINGTON, Tenn. – A Forest City, Iowa, native recently retired from the Navy after 41 years of service. Captain Gary Rogeness is a 1978 Forest City High School graduate and a 1991 graduate of Prairie View A&M University. Rogeness
also earned a master’s degree from Iowa State University in 1998. Rogeness worked in a variety of roles throughout their career. “I started as a nuclear trained machinist mate,” Rogeness said. “The job involves operating complex machinery, monitoring equipment, doing repairs to mechanical equipment and supervising other sailors. “After commissioning, my job involved leading sailors, driving a submarine to accomplish missions important to national security, taking care of my sailors families and furthering their education and careers. I ended my
career providing advice to senior members of the Navy and government in areas of policy, defense cooperation and Navy structure to accomplish strategic goals.” Rogeness joined the Navy for the opportunities serving provides. “The economy was not doing so well in 1980 and I was two years out of high school with not many prospects,” Rogeness said. “I realized I needed to learn a trade and earn a living. My Uncle Bob was in the Navy when I was young and I could remember him coming
NAVY OFFICE OF COMMUNITY OUTREACH
Captain Gary Rogeness (right), a 1978 Forest City High School graduate, Please see ROGENESS, Page C9 recently retired from the U.S. Navy after 41 years of service.
Veterans and Members of the Armed Forces Thank You For Our Continued Freedom!
Did you know all 99 counties in Iowa have a County Veterans Affairs Office? Contact yours today in the county in which you reside.
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C2 | Sunday, November 7, 2021
A LOOK BACK
‘We want to honor those who served’ Mason City Veterans Honor Guard pays tribute to veterans JERRY SMITH
(Editor’s note: This story about the Mason City Veterans Honor Guard originally ran in the Globe Gazette on Nov. 10, 2019. The Honor Guard performs 60-70 veteran funerals a year.) David Gilbert has gone through the gamut of emotions during the hundreds of military funerals he has attended. As commander of the Mason City Veterans Honor Guard, he has been graveside when classmates, friends, acquaintances and fellow veterans he didn’t know have been laid to rest. “It’s not easy, that’s for sure,” Gilbert said. As commander of the unit, the Mason City veteran has one of the most important, if not the most emotional, jobs of any in the unit. Gilbert is one of two members who fold the American flag before handing it to a grieving family member near the end of the service. He said the emotions are often palpable. “A hug from a weeping widow and a quivering ‘thank you’ is the most emotional thing I’ve experienced, and that is very powerful,” Gilbert said. “Equally as powerful is watching family and friends react when Taps is played and a rifle volley is fired in honor of the deceased veteran.” Gilbert said Taps is like a closing prayer at a church. The 24-note bugle call can be “very touching,” and along with the rifle volley is the most symbolic part of the 60-70 funerals the honor guard performs annually. But he said the American flag is what means most to the family and friends of the fallen veterans. “The American flag is home,” Gilbert said. “When I give it to the family, I say it is from a very grateful nation. It is a symbol of our gratitude and appreciation for the veteran’s service. “Being a veteran is being a part of a brotherhood. So is being on the honor guard. I have a real sense of pride being a member of both and
Historic From C1
Men on the Programs.” The organizations and auxiliaries always placed flowers on each veteran’s grave. There was always a parade on Decoration Day starting at Central Park and the decoration of the monuments in Central Park and added later the “Dough Boy.” Askildson said the MCVMA continued the tradition of having parades for many years, but as the veterans got older and it was harder for them to take part, that tradition faded away. “I remember those parades,” she said. “People would line the streets to honor our veterans.” Randy Solsaa, who is in his second year as chair of the organization, echoes Askildson’s sentiments about the
JERRY SMITH/GLOBE GAZETTE
Jim Medlin, a member of the Mason City Veterans Honor Guard for eight years, plays TAPS on the bugle during the funeral for veteran Roger Prehn in October at the Elmwood Cemetery in Mason City. Medlin is one of 26 members of the unit that perform about 60-65 military funerals each year.
JERRY SMITH/GLOBE GAZETTE
Members of the Mason City Veterans Honor Guard stand at attention during a recent military funeral. From left are: Ken Christensen, James Hickey, Dan Gatton, Lyle Watt, Norris Hughes, Randy Solsaa, David Hughes and Steven Howell.
JERRY SMITH/GLOBE GAZETTE
Mason City Veterans Honor Guard commander David Gilbert (left) and American Legion commander Steven Howell prepare to fold the American flag to present to family members at a funeral in October. being able to present such a symbol their lives on the line for us. It’s of freedom to families.” the very least we can do for them. We’re very thankful for their service Another perspective to this nation.” Charlie West is an associate minWest said the entire family was ister at the Christian Fellowship touched by the military rights Church in Mason City. He’s also a given by the honor guard during the member of the Mason City Veterans graveside service for veteran Roger Honor Guard. Prehn in October at the Elmwood He cherishes both roles and is Cemetery in Mason City. able to see how important the honor “They were very emotional and guard is from each perspective. felt it was an honor,” said West, who West presided over the funeral presided over the funeral service of one of his close friend’s father in at Major Erickson Funeral Home October and said having the honor in Mason City before the burial guard present made the funeral service. “The family was touched when they received the shell casmore special. “We want to honor those who ings and the folded flag during the served,” he said. “Many have put service. These are memories they
organization and its lasting power. “The association was started for the veterans and is still all about the veterans,” he said. “It’s a way to recognize them. We want to always keep them in our memory, and this organization is a way to help do that. It’s vital.”
The monument consists of 12 black granite stones, with room for 4,600 names. Names shall be continuously accepted for inclusion on the monument. Sept. 1 each year is the cut-off time frame to
nerals for veterans makes it more special. It’s not about us, it’s about them and we’ll all do it until we are the one laying there.” For Cecil Foell, being a part of the Mason City Veterans Honor Guard is something he believes he was called to be a part of. As the commander of the All Vets Center in Mason City, the Vietnam veteran wants to honor his brothers and sisters. While he said doing 65 funerals last year and nearly the same number this year has been a pull on his time, he said he is glad to do it for his fellow veterans. “We all feel this is an honor,” said Foell, who has been the honor guard’s rifle commander for three years. “The response from the family is emotional and they truly appreciate it. People tell us it is a strong connection to their loved ones’ lives. That makes it worthwhile.” Both Gilbert and Foell believe that despite the number of hours honor guard members put in preparing for and performing the military funerals, every minute is worth it. “We pay about $300 for the uniforms and spend what amounts to a full month performing these funerals,” Gilbert said. “Besides donations from grateful families, we support ourselves. We believe that much in what we are doing.”
will cherish.” For West, it was a lot more personal than most as the associate minister and member of the honor guard was good friends with Prehn’s son, Matt. West has also presided over funerals for his aunt and step father, among the dozen or so funeral services he has performed. West said that with the number of honor guard members dwindling to the current level of 26 active members, he feels he and others need to answer the call, even though it is very time consuming. “I wanted to step up and help,” said West, who was in the U.S. Ma- Jerry Smith is Special Projects Editor rine Corps from 1984-92. “Having for the Globe Gazette. He can be the honor guard there during fu- reached at 641-421-0556.
have the names etched prior to Veteran’s Day. “The monument was years in the making,” Askildson said. “There was talk that it belonged in a cemetery, but the monument isn’t just for
fallen heroes, it’s also for soldiers who are still alive. “Central Park was made for this very thing. It was hard work and we put in a lot of hours, but we’re proud of how it turned out and that we have such a wonderful
monument in Mason City.” Jerry Smith is sports editor and special projects editor for the Globe Gazette. You can reach him at jerry.smith@ globegazette.com or by phone at 641-421-0556.
Crowning achievement On Nov. 11, 2004, a new monument to honor Mason City area veterans was dedicated in Central Park by the Mason City Veterans Memorial Association. According to Askildson, any veteran that has a tie to Mason City, and who has completed their military obligation with an honorable discharge, is eligible to have their name placed on the monument.
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Thanks to all those who have served and protected, we can enjoy a safe and promising tomorrow. This Veterans Day, we salute you. Trust in Tomorrow.®
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Source: U.S. Census Bureau
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2021 |
VETERANS DAY | BY THE NUMBERS Living US veterans
Percent of veterans living among the adult population in 2019: Less than 6
10 or more
SERVED A look at the annual observance that honors military personnel
The number of military veterans in the United States in 2019.
The number of female veterans in the United States in 2019.
Veterans keep on serving Where do veterans choose to work? Private for profit 62% 70%
Veterans Day facts How does it differ from Memorial Day? Memorial Day is a time to remember those who gave their lives for our country, particularly in battle or from wounds they suffered in battle. Veterans Day honors all of those who have served the country in war or peace — dead or alive — although it’s largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices. Why celebrate on Nov. 11? World War I officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919. However, the fighting ended about seven months before on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, Nov. 11, 1918, was largely considered the end of “the war to end all wars” and dubbed Armistice Day. On June 1, 1954, at the urging of veterans service organizations, Congress amended the commemoration yet again by changing the word “armistice” to “veterans” so the day would honor American veterans of all wars. Why isn’t it Veteran’s Day? The holiday is not a day that “belongs” to one veteran or multiple veterans, which is what an apostrophe implies. It’s a day for honoring all veterans — so no apostrophe needed.
The changing profile of US veterans
Private nonprofit 5%
Percent of U.S veterans by:
Era of earliest service 2021
32% of veterans work in public service or charitable organizations compared to 22% of non-veterans.
2% Hispanic 8
Federal government 15%
2046 62 2021
State government 5%
24 <50 years
2046 33 2021
22 Gulf War
Local government 7%
Self-employed/unpaid family workers 7% 9%
Veterans who work in government
Ceremony 100 years of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier The theme for Veterans Day 2021 is centered on the centennial commemoration of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Tomb was initially dedicated by the Army on Nov. 11, 1921, with the burial of an unknown service member from World War I.
Annual remembrance Each year, a national ceremony is held on Nov. 11 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. The ceremony commences precisely at 11 a.m. EST with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations.
Percent of federal employees who are veterans
Federally employed veterans who serve other veterans at VA
Sources: U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Pew Research Center Lee Enterprises graphics
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C4 | Sunday, November 7, 2021
TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER | NOV. 11, 1921
A century of remembrance Timeline
Memorial for unidentified fallen soldiers marks 100 years
1921: The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is established. At the time, the Tomb was not yet complete. A crypt was created for the funeral, with the intention that the rest of the Tomb would subsequently be created. 1925: In November, the Army ordered a civilian guard to begin daily duty at the Tomb in response to increasing reports of visitors’ disrespectful behavior. 1926: In March, soldiers from nearby Fort Myer were first assigned to guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The guards, present only during daylight hours, discouraged visitors from climbing or stepping on the Tomb. 1932: On April 9, the completed Tomb was unveiled. 1937: The Army issued orders for the Tomb to be guarded 24 hours a day. 1948: The Tomb began being guarded by soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment, “The Old Guard.” 1956: President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill to select and honor unknown service members from World War II and the Korean War. They would be buried in crypts next to the original Tomb. 1958: Unknown soldiers of World War II and the Korean War interred. 1961: Specialist 4th Class Fred Moore was selected as a Tomb Guard, becoming the first African American posted and earning the prestigious Tomb Guard identification badge.
The Unknown Serviceman of the Vietnam War is buried May 29, 1984, at Arlington Cemetery.
The evolution of the Vietnam crypt ASSOCIATED PRESS
In 1921, the remains of an unidentified American service member were interred in a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., in a ceremony presided over by President Warren G. Harding.
e are met today to pay the impersonal tribute. The name of him whose body lies before us took flight with his imperishable soul. We know not whence he came, but only that his death marks him with the everlasting glory of an American dying for his country.” — President Warren G. Harding during his Nov. 11, 1921, address at the burial of an unknown American soldier BELOW: The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier features elaborate carvings of wreaths and three neoclassical figures representing peace, victory and valor. ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
1984: Unknown Vietnam soldier interred in a third crypt. 1996: Sergeant Heather Lynn Johnsen became the first woman to earn the Tomb Guard identification badge.
Tomb of the Unknowns
Bodies of unidentified American dead from the two world wars, Korea and Vietnam rest in the tomb Korea (1958)
World War I (1921)
U.S. Army guard
World War II (1958)
Burial dates inscribed on tomb
Tomb is guarded 24 hours a day, every day, in all weather • Guard paces 21 steps and faces tomb for 21 seconds, symbolizing a 21-gun salute • Guards are members of 3rd U.S. Infantry Amphitheater Regiment, the ceremonial Army unit known as The Old Guard. This regiment Tomb was formed in 1784.
Sources: Third United States Infantry, Arlington National Cemetery, Pentagon Library, Military District of Washington
Tribune News Service graphic
During the Vietnam War era, advances in science and technology made identification of the dead increasingly accurate. By May 1984, only one set of recovered American remains had not been fully identified. These remains were designated as the Unknown Soldier from the Vietnam War. A DNA discovery In 1994, Ted Sampley, a POW/ MIA activist, determined that the remains were likely those of Air Force 1st Lt. Michael Joseph Blassie. In 1998, DNA testing confirmed Blassie’s identity. At the request of Blassie’s family, the Department of Defense exhumed the remains. In accordance with the wishes of his family, Blassie was reinterred at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri. Crypt rededication The crypt designated for the Vietnam War Unknown remains vacant. On Sept. 17, 1999, it was rededicated to honor all missing U.S. service members from the Vietnam War. Sources: Arlington National Cemetery, U.S. Army, Library of Congress, Associated Press
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Test your Veterans Day knowledge JEFFREY SIKKENGA | InsideSources.com
ov. 11 is Veterans Day as well as the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the solemn landmark at Arlington National Cemetery honoring military personnel killed in action who have never been identified. Since 1999, a vacant crypt on the grounds has honored missing service members from the Vietnam War. The quiz below, from the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio, provides an opportunity for you to test your knowledge of Veterans Day and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
1 What was Veterans Day originally called?
A. Armed Forces Day B. Remembrance Day
C. Soldiers Day D. Armistice Day
2 In what year was the name changed to Veterans Day?
3 Starting in 1971, after the Uniform
Holiday Bill was passed moving federal holiday observances to Mondays, Veterans Day was observed on different dates. What president signed the legislation returning the annual observance to its original date? A. Richard M. Nixon B. Gerald R. Ford
C. Jimmy Carter D. Ronald Reagan
4 Why is Veterans Day always observed
on November 11, rather than on a Monday, like other national holidays?
A. The World War I cease-fire was signed on the 11th day of the 11th month B. The Allies won the First Battle of Ypres on November 11 C. The last World War I soldier returned home on that date D. The Battle of the Somme ended on November 11 after 141 days
ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTOS
President Dwight Eisenhower stands with veterans who watched him sign a bill June 1, 1954, changing Armistice Day, Nov. 11, to Veterans Day in honor of all servicemen and women.
6 Which US state is home to the
most Medal of Honor winners?
A. New York B. Pennsylvania
7 In proposing legislation to create the
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in 1921, which congressman said, “It is hoped that the grave of this unidentified warrior will become a shrine of patriotism for all the ages to come, which will be a source of inspiration, reverence and love of country for future generations”? A. William A. Ashbrook of Ohio B. Champ Clark of Missouri C. Hamilton Fish III of New York D. Frederick Gillett of Massachusetts
5 According to the Department
of Veterans Affairs, there are approximately how many veterans living in the United States today? A. 7 million B. 12 million
C. 19 million D. 46 million
C. Ohio D. Texas
U.S. Army Signal Corps Maj. General George S. Patton is pictured, circa 1940s.
8 Which US president officiated at the
ceremony dedicating the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier? A. Woodrow Wilson B. Warren Harding
C. Calvin Coolidge D. Herbert Hoover
9 In addition to the Tomb of the
Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery also houses a Tomb of the Civil War Unknowns. Of the 2,111 unidentified soldiers buried there, 1,800 were recovered from which battlefield? A. Antietam B. Vicksburg
C. Gettysburg D. Manassas (Bull Run)
10 Which former general said, “The
highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one’s country”? A. George Patton B. John Pershing C. George Marshall D. Douglas MacArthur ABOUT THE WRITER: Jeffrey Sikkenga is professor of political science at Ashland University and executive director of the Ashbrook Center. ANSWERS: 1-D, 2-C, 3-B, 4-A, 5-C, 6-A, 7-C, 8-B, 9-D, 10-A
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C6 | Sunday, November 7, 2021
Service members awarded medals posthumously The 13 killed in Kabul suicide bomb attack receive Congressional Gold Medal MELISSA NANN BURKE
The Detroit News (TNS)
WASHINGTON — The U.S. House passed bipartisan legislation by voice vote on Oct. 25 that would posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to the 13 American service members killed in the August suicide bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. The measure, introduced by Republican freshman Rep. Lisa McClain of Michigan. Bruce Township, has 323 co-sponsors in the House. McClain said in an interview that seeing the bill on its way to adoption is “bittersweet,” but she’s grateful the House is taking it up so swiftly. “We wanted to do something to honor the fallen men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice — something to keep their memory alive,” McClain said. “With all the ugliness sometimes that goes on in politics, I just thought this would be a positive thing to do.” McClain said she hopes the measure quickly passes the Senate on a unanimous basis and that President Joe Biden will sign it. Her bill notes that Aug. 26 was the highest single-day death toll of the war in Afghanistan for the United States in more than a decade. In total, the attack by the Islamic State affiliate ISIS-K at the gates of Hamid Karzai International Airport killed as many as 200 people and wounded hundreds of others, including 14 American troops. More than 5,000 U.S. troops were
A carry team loads a transfer case with the remain of Navy Corpsman Maxton W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio, into a transfer vehicle during a casualty return at Dover Air Force Base, Deleware, on Aug. 29, 2021, for the 13 service members killed in the suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 26. deployed to help with the evacuation of more than 100,000 people after the Taliban swiftly took control of Afghanistan in August amid the U.S. military’s withdraw. McClain said she’s met with some of the fallen service members’ parents and families. “It makes them feel good, for lack of better words. It’s a nice way to honor them,” she said. “Quite honestly, it’s hard. It’s still fresh in their hearts. To know their memory and legacy will live on, they’re extremely grateful to know that their loved ones didn’t pass in vain, and that they’re appreciated. “In a time when there’s so much partisanship, it really makes you feel good to know that not everything is partisan,” she added. The day before the attack, the
U.S. State Department had warned of a “credible” threat at the Kabul airport, urging people to leave the area. Those gathered at the gates were hoping to make one of the last evacuation flights out of the country. “The American service members went above and beyond the call of duty to protect citizens of the United States and our allies to ensure they are brought to safety in an extremely dangerous situation as the Taliban regained control over Afghanistan,” the bill says. “The American service members exemplified extreme bravery and valor against armed enemy combatants. The American service members dedicated their lives and their heroism deserves great honor.”
McClain’s measure also names each of the 13 dead, which included 11 Marines, one soldier and one sailor: Navy Corpsman Maxton Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, 20, of Norco, California Lance Cpl. David Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, 20, Jackson, Wyoming Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, 20, of Wentzville, Missouri Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, California Staff Sgt. Darin Taylor Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah Cpl. Daegan William-Tyeler Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska Sgt. Nicole Gee, 23, of Roseville, California
Cpl. Humberto Sanchez, 22, Logansport, Indiana Lance Cpl. Dylan Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, California Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25, Lawrence, Massachusetts Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee They were the first U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan since February 2020. Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich., said the bill is an opportunity to honor the sacrifices of those who gave their lives keeping the gates at Kabul airport open, “ensuring that as many people as possible could get through and have a chance to get to safety and start a new life.” “Obviously, it’s personal — not just being a military veteran, not just somebody who was at Kabul Airport during that period, but also who had personal connections to that unit,” Meijer said. “I’m proud to be able to honor them and show them that Congress is grateful for their sacrifice.” Biden announced his decision in April to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan and end the “forever war” that was launched after the Sept. 11 terror attacks by al-Qaida in 2001. Biden said he wanted to see no more U.S. troops sacrifice themselves for a war that he no longer believed to be in the best interest of the United States or its allies. If the measure is enacted, the gold medal would be given to the Smithsonian Institution for display, with the intent that it would be displayed outside Washington at times in locations associated with the 13 service members killed Aug. 26, according to the text. U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Steve Daines, R-Mont., introduced a Senate companion to the bill in September.
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SALUTE TO VETERANS
Tofte From C1
surveillance, and reconnaissance missions; and engage in mine warfare. The Navy’s ballistic-missile submarines, often referred to as “boomers,” serve as a strategic deterrent by providing an undetectable platform for submarine-launched ballistic missiles. SSBNs are designed specifically for stealth, extended patrols and the precise delivery of missiles. Guided-missile submarines provide the Navy with special operation mission capabilities from a stealthy, clandestine platform. Each SSGN is capable of carrying 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles, plus a complement of heavyweight torpedoes to be fired through four torpedo tubes. As a member of the submarine force, Tofte is part of a rich 121-year history of the U.S. Navy’s most versatile weapons platform, capable of taking the fight to the enemy in the defense of America and its
allies. “The Navy isn’t only for national security,” said Tofte. “It’s also global security. We protect our allies and our citizens back home via sea, air, and land.” Strategic deterrence is the nation’s ultimate insurance program, and for decades Naval Submarine Base Bangor in Washington has been home to Ohio Class ballistic-missile submarines. Beginning in 2028, the new Columbia Class ballistic-missile submarines will arrive and provide continuous sea-based strategic deterrence into the 2080s. Tofte and other sailors have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service. “Like most submariners, I’m proud of getting my ‘fish’ pinned on,” Tofte said. “It’s the biggest day in your Navy career. It’s like the captain saying he trusts you.” “Fish” is a nickname for a type of certification sailors earn when they qualify on submarines. As Tofte and other sailors continue to train and perform the
Sunday, November 7, 2021 | C7
CULINARY SPECIALIST SEAMAN JOSEP
The USS Nebraska. missions to support national de“It means that my family is Jerry Jimenez is a Mass Commufense, they take pride in serving proud of me and I’m protecting nication Specialist 1st Class in the their country in the United States people who are just good people,” U.S. Navy. Navy. added Tofte.
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SALUTE TO VETERANS
C8 | Sunday, November 7, 2021
A LOOK BACK | VETERANS DAY 2020
Veterans Day 2020 in pictures The annual Veterans Day memorial service was held in Central Park in Mason City on Veterans Day 2020.
GLOBE GAZETTE STAFF
A look back at the Veterans Day celebration on Nov. 11, 2020 at Central Park in downtown Mason City.
PHOTOS LISA GROUETTE, GLOBE GAZETTE
A wreath is placed on at the base of a monument at the Veterans Memorial in Central Park in Mason City on Wednesday.
A member of the Vietnam Veterans of America salutes during a dedication ceremony of “Stand for the Flag,” a sculpture honoring the military. “Stand for the Flag” by artists Lee Leuning and Sherri Treeby, was dedicated as a permanent piece in Mason City’s Central Park in a ceremony on Veterans Day 2020.
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SALUTE TO VETERANS
Jefferson Lines offers veterans free travel 7th annual program includes veterans, active military this holiday season SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE GAZETTE
As Veterans Day approaches, Jefferson Lines is announced its Seventh Annual Free Veterans Day Travel program for all veterans and active duty military members. According to a news release from the program. since 2015, it has been a company tradition to provide free motorcoach transportation to hundreds of military men and women across the country to thank them for their time in uniform. “This opportunity is just one small way to show our appreciation for our service men and women,” said Steve Woelfel, President and CEO of Jefferson Lines, in the release. “Now, as we near the twoyear mark of the COVID-19 pandemic, a trip home means all the more to our passengers, and we want to show our support for our veterans and active-duty military by making it possible for them to travel home to their loved ones during the holidays.” With over 100 years to its credit, Jefferson Lines has a long history of supporting military members. During WWII, the company provided key transportation to draftees heading to basic training – with one in 10 of their own employees
JERRY SMITH, GLOBE GAZETTE
Jefferson Lines, which is housed in the Mason City Municipal Airport terminal, is offering free motorcoach transportation to all veterans and active duty military members during its Seventh Annual Free Veterans Day Travel program. serving at the frontlines, according to the release. Today, the company provides year-round discounted travel to military members and charter service to military arriving home from deployment. According to the release, the free Veterans Day travel program is open to all military members – past and present – who serve or have served in any branch of the military. To participate in this program, veterans and active duty military members must visit a qualifying Jefferson Lines location and present a valid DD 214 or military ID, along with personal identification (driver’s license, etc.). One-way or round-trip travel
can be booked anytime Nov. 1 through Nov. 11 at 11:59 p.m. for trips to take place from Nov. 11 through Nov. 24 (if a round-trip ticket is purchased, the return trip must take place before Dec. 31). Qualifying locations include: Mason City, Iowa; St. Paul, Minnesota; Billings, Montana; Duluth, Minnesota; Fargo, North Dakota; Fort Smith, Arkansas; Missoula, Montana; Rapid City, South Dakota; and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. To learn more about the Jefferson Lines promotion, purchase a ticket, or apply to one of our open positions, visit our website at JeffersonLines.com or contact us at (858) 800-8898.
To America’s Veterans & Their Families
Rogeness From C1
Sunday, November 7, 2021 | C9
Fleet, U.S. Embassy Oslo, Norway and Secretary of the Navy. Though there are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and careers, Rogness is most proud of four accomplishments. “I am most proud of earning the rank of Chief Petty Officer, as well as, commanding a fast attack submarine that deployed to the Western Pacific and taking care of the sailors and families that I was responsible for,” Rogness said. “I am also proud of serving as the Senior Defense Official to the Kingdom of Norway, representing the United States to one of our most important Allies and making a difference. Lastly, I am proud of serving as the Senior Military Advisor to the Secretary of the Navy and engaging international allies to publish the Navy’s Arctic Blueprint; a real highlight of my career.” As a member of the U.S. Navy, Rogness, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow. “Serving in the Navy means service to your shipmates, your command, your Navy and your Nation,” added Rogness.
home on leave in his cracker jacks and talking about fun things he was doing. I thought the Navy could be a place where I could make something of myself and serve my country.” According to Rogeness, the values required to succeed in the military are similar to those found in Forest City. “I learned the lesson of working hard to earn the reputation of pulling your weight and contributing to a team,” Rogeness said. “Nobody owes you anything; whatever you end up with is a direct result of what you put into it. “I learned that quitting was an easy habit to get into so once you say you’re going to do something you’ll get the most out of it by being ‘all in’. Life is all about choices, if you choose to take advantage of opportunities presented, who knows how far you might get? Look at me, went from Seaman Recruit to a Chief Petty Officer, then from an Ensign to a Captain!” Throughout his 41 year career, Rogness has served aboard USS Mahan, USS Florida, USS Hyman G. Rickover, USS Rhode Island, USS Oklahoma City and USS Cheyenne. Rogness’ shore assignments include Naval Reserve Officer Training Unit, Iowa State University, Submarine Force At- Megan Brown is with the Navy Oflantic, Commander, U.S. Pacific fice of Community Outreach.
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IMT SALUTES OUR VETERANS Our freedom is built on the courage and sacrifice of our service members, both past and present. And for that, we thank you.
Thank a veteran today.
SALUTE TO VETERANS
C10 | Sunday, November 7, 2021
OLDEST LIVING WORLD WAR II VETERAN
Veteran’s care is a labor of love Daughter has been primary caregiver for 112-year-old father for 13 years LEAH WILLINGHAM
Associated Press/Report for America
Vanessa Brooks was gentle as she held the face of her 112-year-old father in her hands. She patted the shaving cream carefully on his cheeks and along his jaw before sliding the razor across his face to make a clean strip. Lawrence Brooks sat quietly in his big armchair in their double shotgun house, a New Orleans Saints blanket draped over the back. The oldest living U.S. veteran’s arms were clasped together in his lap and his eyes were closed. Around him were banners from the National World War II Museum and the Veterans Affairs hospital celebrating past birthdays. A portrait of him in his Army uniform, three-quarters of a century old, sat on the dresser. “I want him to be comfortable, happy and himself,” Vanessa, 61, had said the day before, lying on the couch for a break in between feeding him and giving him therapy for his swelling legs. “If I can keep him in his right state of mind until God calls him home, that’s my intent.” For the past 13 years, she has been her father’s primary caregiver, providing roundthe-clock attention. It’s a full-time job, one she’s tried to balance with her work as a neighborhood security patrol officer — the job that pays the bills. But as her father has aged, that balancing act has become trickier. The centenarian Brooks is still mentally sharp — he can tell decades-old stories of his childhood in Louisiana and rural Mississippi, of being drafted to join WWII. But his body is weak. Brooks’ hearing is becoming more limited, he has lost his sight in one eye, and his vision is fading in the other. Several hospitalizations in the past year have been taxing physically and emotionally. Each day, Vanessa starts early, bringing him medications, cleaning him and his space, loading his wheelchair onto the electric lift when he has doctor’s appointments. “Taking care of him, it’s sun up to sundown,” she said. Brooks recently qualified for a program that will allow a VA home-health care aide come to their house during the day to help Vanessa. But she said there are a lot of personal care needs that he only feels comfortable with her attending to, keeping most of the responsibility on her. In late September, Vanessa took indefinite leave from her job of nine years. Too young to begin collecting Social Security, she knows the loss of income will take a toll. But she considers caring for her father the most important job in the world. “I don’t work; I don’t get paid — bottom line,” she said. “Basically, I just made that sacrifice. I just stepped out on faith and decided to do what I felt in my heart that I need to do, and that’s stay here and take care of my dad.” A concerned friend set up a GoFundMe page to help support Vanessa and her dad while she cares for him at home. The Brooks family isn’t alone in trying to juggle priorities. One in five full-time workers in the U.S. is a caregiver, according to a Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers survey released last month. About 45% of family caregivers who are employed full time said they had to go part time at some point and roughly two in 10 said they had to quit their jobs altogether. “It’s a very common story, and the people who are affected the most are those
Vanessa Brooks poses for a portrait with her father Lawrence GERALD HERBERT Brooks in his room at their home in New Orleans on Friday, Sept. 8, 2021. Lawrence is the oldest living man in America In this Sept. 12, 2019 file photo, World War II veteran Lawrence Brooks sports a lipstick kiss and also the oldest living World War II veteran. on his cheek, planted by a member of the singing group Victory Belles, as he celebrates his 110th birthday at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. I’m not around, he’s sad, from a kidney infection. people who are in low wage, “When I’m driving, I job, a legacy of racist policies She spent the past week he’s depressed, he falls into hourly wage jobs,” said How- can’t really go out tired and that relegated many Black caring for him after he was delirium.” ard Gleckman, a retirement exhausted, either, because I soldiers to service-oriented transferred to the VA hosShe said she and her father policy expert with the Urban can injure myself or some- jobs in the then-segregated pital intensive care unit. The enjoy going out for chocolate Institute think tank. one else,” she said. “I felt like U.S. Army. Brooks was a doctors said fluid had built up frozen yogurt, watching teleA year ago, Vanessa shifted I was in a tug of war.” caretaker for three white of- in his lungs, and his kidneys vision — especially sports, to part time. She had been Even with an aide from the ficers in Australia and was were again at risk. like wrestling and football — working patrol shifts from VA coming to help care for discharged in August 1945 When she’s tried to go and playing solitaire. 3 to 11 p.m. and contracted her father, she doesn’t think as a private first class. When back to work recently, her He loves sitting on their with an agency for an aide she can go back to work any- he left the service, he worked father became depressed porch directly in the sun. to care for the elder Brooks time soon. as a forklift driver before re- and started regressing. He People from the neighborwhile she worked. But with a A VA stipend program cov- tiring in his 60s. did not want to eat or drink hood, who all know him by In May of this year, he had water, she said. He is in his name, will wave and leave shortage of health care work- ers caregivers only for veterers during the pandemic, the ans who are suffering from surgery, which required Va- best health when she is able little treats for him. help was inconsistent. “I just want him to have a service-related injuries. nessa to take time off to stay to stay home with him. She found herself increasLawrence Brooks, who was with him in the hospital. “That’s what makes him good life,” Vanessa said. “He ingly exhausted and having to in the mostly-Black 91st En- Then, two and a half months happy, and that’s what keeps worked hard. He took care of take more and more time off gineer General Service Reg- ago, her father had a fall. A him living,” she said. “It’s our family. Now, I take care work to meet her dad’s needs. iment, never had a combat doctor said he was suffering like, I am his lifeline. When of him.”
HONORING ALL WHO SERVED Join us as we honor the men & women of the U.S. Military. Their courage, hard work and sacrific are the backbone of our nation, protecting freedom, liberty, justice and all we hold dear. Thank you
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Veterans We Value Your Service!
McDonald’s of Mason City would like to thank all active and retired military personnel for their service with a FREE BREAKFAST*! Swing by McDonald’s and let us serve you for a change. FREE BREAKFAST* served Thursday,, November 11th 6 am - 10:30 am.
Your choice from these 3 combos: • 2 Burritos • Egg McMuffin • Sausage Egg Biscuit 1651 4th St. SW, Mason City 423-0417 • 2010 S. Federal Ave., Mason City 423-6710 *Please show proof of military service.
SALUTE TO VETERANS
Sunday, November 7, 2021 | C11
Who said we’d never forget: Will we? JOSEPH REAGAN
Special to the Globe Gazette
n Nov. 11, 1918, Ralph Lindsey wrote from his hospital bed in France “Armistice signed at 11 o’clock. Grand celebration all over France. War is at last over and I am still alive!” Later in life if you asked him about the scars on his chest he would simply respond with a shrug and say, “I zigged when I should have zagged.” Ralph was my great grandfather, and now, nearly 103 years after he wrote those words, our nation once again finds itself celebrating the contributions of our Veterans during a period where their sacrifices may be less visible than they have been during the past 20 years of war. After returning from WW1, like many others from his unit, he found tremendous success as he took over the family business and raised a family.
His friends H.A. Durkee and Fred Mower, both former infantrymen, started a small company based on a unique marshmallow confection. Another from his unit, Walter Brennan, is one of only three men to win three academy awards, his distinct voice the result of the same gas attack that wounded my great grandfather. To be clear, the end of the United States’ involvement in the Afghan war doesn’t mean our service members are serving without risk. Our military will continue to execute missions across the globe in support of our national security, some of those more sensitive missions, may never be known to us. That aside, superficially this Veterans Day will be much like years past with parades, speeches, and free meal deals in honor of the nearly 19 million veterans living in our communities.
Unfortunately, for many veterans – especially those who served in combat – they may see this acknowledgement as at best, shallow and at worst, patronizing. Even before the fall of Kabul, many veterans complained that while they believed Americans were genuinely grateful for their service, few cared enough to actually learn about the sacrifices our all-volunteer military makes on their behalf. This civil-military divide is not only impacting the military’s ability to recruit new troops, but also our veterans’ ability to find meaningful post-service careers. A few years ago, I was traveling from a conference in D.C. in uniform, and was seated next to a young man who was wearing a sweatshirt from a very prestigious college in the D.C. area. He was clearly bright, affable, and I was enjoying our preflight conversation when he turned
to me and said, “so you’re in the military, did you not get a chance to graduate high school?” This is just one of the many, many cringe-worthy stories demonstrating the real-life challenges of this civil-military divide. This divide is even more pronounced in Congress where in the 1970s, nearly 80% of the members of Congress had served in the U.S. military; today, less than 20% of the 117th Congress have ever worn a uniform. When my great grandfather, and grandfather returned from WW1 and WW2, respectively, they entered a job market that was saturated with fellow veterans who understood them and the value they bring to our communities, as did our elected representatives. The truth about our veterans since the end of the draft in the 70s has become increasingly diverse as individuals saw (and continue to
see) the military as a way to achieve economic mobility. They are smart, driven, resilient, and entrepreneurial – words that most Americans like my seat mate – don’t always associate with a veteran. There is still work to do, while many veterans thrive in their post-service years others struggle. Veterans continue to be over-represented in the homeless population, court system, substance misuse disorders, and suicide deaths. These are hard problems, but they are solvable ones. For the past 20 years, Americans have claimed we support our troops, but how we choose to treat our veterans over the next few years will be the measure of whether we meant it or not. Joseph Reagan is the Director of Military and Veterans Outreach for national nonprofit Wreaths Across America.
Thank You for your
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SALUTE TO VETERANS
C12 | Sunday, November 7, 2021
Honoring all wHo served veterans day 2021
John F. Diekema
Dean M. Molstad
Corporal Army Korea ’51-‘53 Proud of your service and faith. Thinking they are part of why you’ve survived Covid three times at age 96. Persist and Love. John, Dea and Anne Epley Birtwistle
US Army You honored your country with your service. Thank you my friend.
US Army PFC Dad-remembering you with love and pride for your bravery and sacrifice. We miss you.
Army Private – 1st Class Duane Honorably served His Country with the Armed Service in Germany.
US Navy and US Airforce Yoeman 3rd Class and Airman 1st Class Enlisted US Navy, aboard USS Rawlins, Amphibious Force at Okinawa 1945 during WWII. Enlisted US Airforce 1950, Airman First Class, Personnel Specialist, England Korean War.
Desiree Ponce Virgin
Airforce Tech Sergeant Thank you for your Service during turbulent times. You showed me the world and I am forever grateful. Thank you.
Airforce Buck Sergeant Thank you for your Service as a soldier and Military Spouse. Thank you for always being there for me no matter the location.
Army Corporal Thank you for serving your country when it needed you, and for instilling in me to do my best for the things that are important.
Army Private First Class Gone but not forgotten.
Navy Seaman Thank you for Service during World War II and for teaching me the value of patience. I miss you very much.
Ralph Shafer (1931-2021)
Spc Joshua L. Knowles
Army – National Guard Specialist We’re proud of all you did and the sacrifices you made to maintain our country’s rights and freedoms. Love you Mom, Dad, Breanna, Michelle and families.
United States Marine Corp. SGT. E-5 Another Veterans Day without you physically with us but your spirit still remains – your Quarter Master.
Robert E.Gelner Sr.
U.S. Army Cpl. Shafer Korean War April 1949-October 1952 Served as a certified truck mechanic. Dearly loved & greatly missed. Your loving family.
Thank you for your service! 1942-1945 Navy
Army 101st Airborne
1966-1975 Marine corps
4 years of service Iowa Army National Guard
Dennis R. Boelman
Harold Schipper Jr
2 years of service Army
Richard R Blunt
2 years of service Army
Army 101st Airborne
Alvin G. Buseman 1965-1969 Air Force
Kenneth Christensen 1965-1969 Navy
Army 101st Airborne
Army 101st Airborne
John E. E. Ellis
1969-72 U.S. Army
David Hogan 10 years of service Army
Jon Hudson 8 years of service Army
Harold Hutchison Jr. 4 years of service Navy
Johnson Army 101st Airborne
Gary V. Sharp 22 years (1980-2002) Iowa Army National Guard
Christopher J Showalter 4 years of service US Navy
Richard C Showalter 6 years of service US Marines Corp
Mike Smith 4 years of service Air Force
Army 101st Airborne
Clement Urich 3 years of service Army
Tony Urich 3 years of service Army
Valerie Wagner 4 years of service Air Force
Duane Walters 20 years of service Marines
Army 101st Airborne
4 years of service Air Force
3 years of service Navy
Sean David Fett
Kevin W. Willemsen
8 years of service Army
22 years of service Air Force
8 years of service Army
4 years of service Marines Corp.
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the brave individuals who served our country to protect our freedoms. We are eternally grateful for your courage, dedication, and sacrifice. Thank you for your service. – Your friends at the Globe Gazette