Several attended the breakfast including folks who arrived by bus
from the Christian Village in Lincoln.
As guests arrived, they were greeted by members of the Eminence
Church, who took coats and hats and pinned red carnations on each
veteran. Guests were invited to take a seat, and volunteers quickly
made the rounds filling cups with coffee as the former soldiers
enjoyed a time of visiting.
When everyone had arrived, Gil Turner of the church welcomed all the
veterans to the breakfast. The nation's colors were then presented
by Mike Horath, as the veterans and guests stood for the Pledge of
Allegiance. Turner then delivered the morning blessing for the food,
and veterans were invited to fill their plates from the buffet
breakfast. Food offered included eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes,
biscuits and gravy, and cinnamon rolls. Volunteers stepped in and
assisted those who needed help through the line, and also prepared
and delivered full plates to those who were not up for the time
spent standing in line.
When everyone was nearly finished with their meal, Marsha Fernandes,
who got the annual breakfast started last year, asked that the
veterans introduced themselves and tell a bit about their service to
our country. Going around the room, several of the veterans were
from the World War II era, with a smaller number reporting they
served in Korea or Viet Nam, and one reporting that he had served in
Desert Storm as well as other conflicts since then that are known
and unknown to the general public.
While all the veterans present were noted for their sacrifice and
service to our country, there were some who stood out - a father and
son, both veterans; and the only female veteran.
Of the father-son duo, the son, Rich Shoemaker was the first to
stand and speak followed by his father Bill. Bill brought laughs to
the crowd when he said ‘I’m Bill Shoemaker, his father... I think.”
It was also noted later that next month, Bill would turn 97 years
Lea McEntire was the only lady veteran in the group. She shared that
she served in World War II as a W.A.V.E. - Women Accepted for
Volunteer Emergency Service program. Afterward Lea shared that she
was also honored to have gotten to go on an Honor Flight to
Washington D.C. and that her son is the owner of McEntire Appliance
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Among others on hand were Jim Harnacke, Commander of the
local Marine Corp League, and Joe Schaler, the driving force behind
the recent formation of the Veteran’s Assistance Commission for
Joining Schaler on Saturday was Dan Benedict, the recently hired
superintendent for the VAC, and also a veteran.
When Mike Horath stood to introduce himself, he talked about his
time serving during the Viet Nam War. He spoke about the use of
chemical warfare in that war, and the devastating effects of Agent
Orange on Viet Nam veterans. He said that he too was suffering the
consequences of the use of that chemical.
When Benedict introduced himself, he quickly drew an example of
Horath and agent orange, saying that many veterans do not know that
there is assistance through the VAC for the care needed after being
impacted by agent orange.
Benedict went on to say that his job is to work with and for the
veterans of Logan County. His mission is to see that veterans get
what they need to live their daily lives, and most importantly that
he is available to make certain they are getting all the military
benefits they have earned through their selfless service to our
When all the veterans had spoken, Fernandes said that in the group
today were some widows of veterans, and she wanted those women to be
acknowledged as well. The widows also stood and introduced
themselves, and noted their husbands’ service to the country.
After the introductions, a trio of students from Lincoln Christian
University sang two patriotic songs. Hannah Dusenberry, Aly
McDonald, and M.J. Brand delivered a magnificent rendition of the
Battle Hymn of the Republic, followed by America the Beautiful.
Eminence Pastor L.C. Sutton closed the day with prayer. Before the
prayer, the pastor spoke about the men and women in the room and
their importance to our country. He drew a comparison with the Viet
Nam Wall, where so many names are engraved forever. He told the
veterans that they too have their names engraved in the hearts of
the Eminence Church and the country.
Pastor Sutton closed in prayer by reading from Roman’s 16. “Now to
him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the
message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the
revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now
revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the
command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to
the obedience that comes from faith. To the only wise God be glory
forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.”
Guests were invited to stay as long as desired, to enjoy the
remainder of the coffee and time together as men and women with a
common bond of military service.
Each veteran was also given a copy of the book “In God We Still
Trust” by Dr. Richard G. Lee, and an American flag lapel pin.