Korean MemorialKorean War & Korea Defense Service Veterans, Lake Co. (FL), Chapter 169

Mount Dora High School Air Force Junior ROTC, April 17, 2012

Tom Thiel, President of the Korean War and Service Veterans of Lake County, Chapter 169, presents C/Major Destin Fleming, 2012 Commander of the Mount Dora HS AF Jr. ROTC, with a check to be used where needed by the program.

The presentation was made at the Annual Awards Banquet held at the Mount Dora High School, Friday evening, May 4. Monies for this contribution came from customer donations at the Loch Levan Publix on April 20-21; KWVA thanks all Publix shoppers who helped. President Thiel and Vice President Dwight and Kum Brown at the Banquet with their escorts, Fred Gemeinhosax and Mena Mansour.

Four Chapter 169 members met with the cadets of Col. Ron Richards AF Jr. ROTC classes on April 17 (from left: Claus Tiesman, Tom Thiel, Col. Richards, and Dwight Brown. The fourth team member was Carol Becker who took the photo).

Ms. Becker, the Chapter’s only Gold Star Spouse member, told the students that she was expecting to hear that her husband of only a couple years, Bob Becker, would soon be returning to her because the Armistice ending the hostilities in Korea had been signed for some time. Instead, she told of receiving a telegram advising her that Bob had been killed by communist forces, and she at 19 became a Gold Star Spouse of the Korean War.

Dwight Brown, who served as a helicopter pilot in Korea from 1974-77, after the Armistice was signed, brought an exhibit of various items relevant to the Korean War.

This exhibit proved immensely popular with the students, especially with cadet Gary England shown here testing a “steel pot.” Some others liked the "pot" too -- Helmet Cadet 2 -- Helmet Cadet 3 -- Ridgeway Cap Cadet

C/CMSgt Shannon Bolton listens carefully as Tom Thiel tells her one-on-one about his experiences in Korea as a front-line member of the 24th Infantry Division during 1951-52; Shannon, a sophomore, says she is considering a career with the U.S. Army. Shannon and Hailey Byrd at Banquet

Claus Tiesman, who served with the Marines in Korea, relates via photograph some of his experiences. Claus, one of the very few drafted into the Marines and fully expecting to be an infantryman, instead drove trucks and became a driver-body guard for a Marine officer.

Chapter 169’s Tell America Program regularly visits Lake County area high and middle schools to tell students about the Korean War. Please call 352-357-3943 if you would like us to come to your school.

With nearly 90 members, KWVA 169 meets every fourth Wednesday at 2:oo p.m., at the Leesburg Senior Center, 1211 Penn Street, near the intersection of US 441 and US 27. If you served in Korea anytime, we invite you to come to one of our meetings. For information: http://cid169.kwva.org  kwva169@gmail.com or call the above number.

Thanks to Gary England for taking many of the photos herin