The annual Veterans Dinner sponsored by American Legion Post 333 and Auxiliary and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4513 and Auxiliary took place on Saturday, November 16 at the VFW Hall on Highway 330 S., Fairfield Bay.
Approximately Eighty veterans, their wives and post members enjoyed a wonderful meal of pork loin and brisket with numerous side dishes, deserts and drinks all prepared and served by the VFW Post 4513 Auxiliary.
Prior to the festivities and following the meal our local bagpiper, Doug Young, entertained the audience with several numbers pausing to explain the historic and organizational significance of what he was playing. Following the meal and final comments, he played “Amazing Grace” as a sendoff to the group.
The Legion and VFW are grateful to Fred Hilsenrath for agreeing to be the speaker at the event on short notice. Fred spoke of his early life, especially during the period of the Second World War when as a child, his family escaped Nazi Germany to live in Romania. During their travel to Romania, they were separated from Fred’s father and did not see him again until after the war. The Nazis finally overran Romania and he and his family were taken prisoner and sent to a concentration camp.
Although his time was limited, Fred brought the audience up to the time his family was finally saved from almost certain death by the Russians as they overran Romania. Through many trials, they were able to return to his Grandfather’s farm, but the village people had raided the home and nothing of value was left. They struggled overland to reach France and with the help of the Red Cross located their father and husband.
Fred especially noted that the United States Military needs to remain strong and free from political manipulation. He credits the U.S. Military for his freedom today. Fred has written out his story and copies of it are available to be checked out at the Fairfield Bay Library. Rick Pierce, Commander of American Legion Post 333 presented Fred with a United States flag as a token of appreciation for his talk.
The Legion and VFW Posts both want to wish everyone a happy holiday season. If you are a member or former member of the military and hold a valid DD 214, you qualify for membership in the American Legion and possibly in the Veterans of Foreign Wars. You may call John Foster at 884-3802 about Legion membership or call the VFW Hall at 884-3385 about VFW membership.
The members of the Legion and VFW wish to especially thank the ladies of the VFW Auxiliary for all of the hard work in preparing and serving the meal to our veterans. It is a labor of love that shows through in the smiles of every one of them.