Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Opinion

June 13, 2014

YOUR VIEW: Thanks to all who contributed to reunion

GLASGOW — I would like to offer my great appreciation to those of this community that helped with the great success of the Midway Island Veterans, Dependents, and Battle of Midway Survivors Reunion. Without the help of this wonderful community, this would have never have happened. But with the tremendous help I received, it went far beyond just being successful.

I send my thanks to Ann Stewart of the Glasgow/Barren County Tourism office for being so willing to help put the reunion together from the onset. To Matt Mutter for stepping up and assisting in so many ways and taking the job of reunion treasurer. To the ladies of Chapter 20 Disabled American Veterans Ladies Auxiliary for their relentless hours of putting visitor packets together, taking care of the registration and check-in and directing the attendees to the events. To Joel Wilson and the Glasgow/Barren County Tourism Commission for their helping us get it all together. To Jobe Publishing for the fine job of printing. To the Glasgow Daily Times and Barren County Progress for the many articles of promotion and of the events themselves: wonderful coverage. To Wilson, Glasgow Mayor Rhonda Riherd Trautman, Darrell Pickett (Chairman of the Barren County Veterans Association), Barren County Judge-Executive Davie Greer, state Rep. Johnnie Bell, LTC Hughes of the Kentucky National Guard, and U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie for speaking at the opening ceremony. 

To the Color Guard of Disabled American Veterans for presenting the colors at the opening ceremony, also to Ralphie’s Fun Center (Jason, Robyn, and the crew) for allowing us to have the reception there. There did a magnificent job at preparing the facility for the event and accompanying them was the members of the Newcomers Club. To the Daughters of the American Revolution for their support throughout the entire event. Again to the DAV Chapter 20 Color Guard for the flag folding ceremony, which caught the attention of all. To Sgt. Major, and my dear friend Freddie Jo Wilkerson,  and the Barren County High School JROTC for their presenting of the colors at many of the events and their stirring "Remembrance Ceremony."

To Todd Steenbergen for directing the media time spent with the heroes of the greatest generation that came to our community. To Major General Dan Cherry and Travis Lyle for directing and presenting a time for aviation enthusiast. To Ernie Wagoner and the Freedom Warriors for inviting us to the eighth annual VETJAM and honoring three of the Battle of Midway survivors that came to the reunion.

To Tonya Archey (Director of Veterans Services at WKU) for helping bring the 113th Army Band into our town for their performance.

To Barren River Lake State Resort Park for allowing us to hold our banquet and Sunday morning memorial service there.

Then I want to give a special thanks to our community band for performing at the reception and the Sunday morning memorial service. To the 623rd for providing an unlimited source of help for all for days; what a great group of men and women; that are of the best. And for the Barren County JROTC (the rose of our community). These young men and women are the best and we should be so proud of them and support them. To my good friend Sgt. Major Phillip Gearlds for his coordinating with the events.

I end with thanking Ms. McMurtrey and her history students for taking the time to make posters of the aircraft and ships that were involved in the Battle of Midway. To the Barren County Board of Education and their personnel for all the help they gave to us. To Jimmie Dixon (his wife) and the members of Rolling Thunder Chapter 2 for their tireless support. And, Nathan Hood for the map he drew that showed where each that had called about the reunion lived. If I have overlooked any, please forgive me, but I thank you also.

Thank you, Glasgow and Barren County, for allowing us to have our reunion here.

Everyone enjoyed it so much that they have requested to have it here again, June 4-8t, 2015. Smooth sailing and fair winds to all.

– Michael Wilson

U.S. Navy veteran and reunion committee chair

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