Meet the greatest generation in Waterloo

41 World War II Veterans are living in Waterloo, NY.Many of them will be the honored guests in the annual Freedom Parade of Celebrate Commemorate. The parade down Main Street begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 28.More than 35 veterans will ride on floats, cars and in WWII vet Irv Buchholtz’s red Rambler that plays patriotic music. They will pause at the reviewing stand in front of the village office for a special salute. The men include Ron Cox, Jim Lewis, Bob Keebler, Edwin Nelson, George DiPronio, Carl Schoenacker, Edward Boudreau who trained at Sampson Naval Training Station and fought in Japan, Ernest Beckwith who watched his fellow soldiers raise the flag at Iwo Jima, Alfred Myhill, who served at Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. and Joseph Nasal, who flew 42 missions in support of Gen. Patton’s troops, and Ralph Felice, a WWII POW. Other WWII veterans include William Ash, Anthony Felice, Bill Foster, Rollie Velte, George Braun, Avery Brigham, Albert Cardinale, Lauren Cole, Joseph Crispo, Wayland Daeffler, William Flemng, Tony French, John Godley, Jack Jarvis, Doris Lutz. And Richard Marsh, Thomas Radke, Jeesse Rausch, Frank Scale, Fred Scheltz, Alton Stahl, John Stahlnecker, George Vreeland, Jerome Wolff and Andrew Wooden, Joseph DiCicco, Wilson Huff, Richard Haynes, Robert Dinan. Immediately following the parade the WWII veterans and their spouses will be guests of honor at a luncheon at the VFW, 29 East Elisha St. The invitation says, “This is being held in your honor and it is to thank you for your service to our country. Many times we take our freedoms for granted. We remain free because of the sacrifices our soldiers have made. You were one of those soldiers. Thank you from all of us. Enjoy your day. You fought hard for us and we all appreciate it!”MEET:* Carl Schoenacker, a pacifist, served in the Army Air Corps working on aircraft radios with the 33rd Pursuit Squadron. In the spring of 1943, he was assigned to the 322 Fighter Control Squadron and in October the squadron left for Oran, Africa on its way to China. After one night of the second leg, their ship, HMT Rohna, was struck by a glide bomb and sunk quickly. Carl and 600 others were saved by the heroic work of the minesweeper, USS Pioneer. This was our nation’s worst loss of life at sea. He spent all four Christmases of the war overseas. *Joe Nasal flew 42 missions as a top turret gunner in a B-26 following General Patton’s Third Army.* Al Myhill served at Normandy in the 53rd field hospital, in Northern France, and at the Battle of the Bulge, earning a bronze star*Ernest Beckwith watched the Marines raise the flag on Iwo Jima*Jim Lewis – Served in an Army Hospital in Tokyo, Japan, during WWII, where he was chief NCO in charge of the Operating Room and then was recalled for the Korean War as an Army Reservist, serving at the 10th Station Hospital in Korea. He was Commander of the VFW for several years, chairman of the Memorial Day parade in Waterloo for more than 40 years and received the Silver Beaver award from the Boy Scouts for more than 50 years of service with the Scouts.* Ed Boudreau trained at Sampson Naval Training Station and served in Japan. He returned to Waterloo where he was Middle School principal for many years and served on the Seneca County Board of Supervisors.*Jack Jarvis served in the Army Air Corps and was Waterloo’s postmaster for 14 years* Bob Keebler built a baseball diamond in his back yard where generations of young people learned to play ball.* George DiPronio was drafted at the end of the war, and helped build the New York Thruway as an engineer for the State of New York.* Ron Cox – Mr. Music in Waterloo and at Hobart College, he led the music program at the two schools, earning many accolades at Band Pageants for Waterloo’s marching bands and sharing his love of music with generations of students.* Edwin Nelson– Twice Chairman of the Seneca County Board of Supervisors and Chairman of the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce. A leader in the Finger Lakes Association tourism program, he founded Ye Olde Wood Shoppe Village in Waterloo and advocated for small businesses and the development of the Finger Lakes Regional Airport. As a Gideon and co-founder of Real Christmas, he has shared his faith with thousands throughout the Finger Lakes.How many other stories will you discover?

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