Author praises veterans

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


When Cheyenne (Cuddeback) Miller took the podium during the Veterans Day observance at Blair House Saturday morning, she spoke of the history seated in the room and informed the people gathered of exploits of area veterans they may have not known about.

Miller, the author of the books ?We Lucky Few,? and ?The Three of Hearts,? both of which chronicle accounts of local veterans, began her keynote speech asking how many people in the audience had seen the HBO miniseries ?Band of Brothers.? She went on to describe the last scene of the show that told what had happened to the members of Easy Company, 506 Parachute Infantry regiment, 101 Airborne during World War II. During the final scene, where the war-weary soldiers were enjoying some free time playing a game of baseball, there were one-line descriptions of what the soldiers had gone on to become.

?What we can?t see now is what they did during the war,? Miller said, of local veterans. ?That isn?t so obvious in most cases. We can?t see their past, we can only see their present.?

She went on to speak of the service of many local people, saying name after familiar name of local veterans and giving a one sentence synopsis of their service.

Miller began with Harvey Holden, who is known for having served as Washington?s mayor for many years. She said he was stations at the port of Calais and was in charge of shipments that came into Europe. She said if Harvey mistimed the tides, the supply chain in Europe could have come to a halt.

That was just the start as she told a brief story of many local people:

? Bob Huber, former county engineer, was a Seabee in the Pacific and bulldozed mass graves for Japanese soldiers;

? Fred Bickhart, a former Washington pastor, intercepted Japanese radio codes in the Pacific;

? Roland Edmundson spent the war doing clerical work in Africa, Italy and France. He also went into Vietnam with the French;

? Mike Orris ferried Marines around the South Pacific, including to Okinawa;

? Tom Tanner froze his hands and feet badly searching for the bodies of servicemen during the Battle of the Bulge;

? Donald Dayton was stationed aboard the USS Lexington in the Pacific and survived a plane crash in the North Atlantic;

? Mel Jaspering operated a bulldozer in Gen. George patton?s Ghost Division;

? Laurence Whistler was a P-51 fighter pilot stationed in Italy and received the Distinguished Flying Cross;

? Bob Ross was in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered;

? Easy Jones was in the 87th infantry and toured Buchenwald concentration camp after the war ended at the urging of Gen. Patton;

? Tom English was part of an anti-aircraft battalion stationed in Dover and helped shoot down 89 buzz bombs heading toward London;

? Marion Turnipseed flew 35 combat missions with the Eighth Air Force;

? Bob Flynn was at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked;

? George Rhode was a minesweeper and was at Fort Leonard Wood when Pearl Harbor was attacked;

? Harold Stephens was a POW and escaped twice;

The names went on.

?We have our very own band of brothers here,? Miller said. ?Maybe they didn?t share a foxhole during the war, but they did share their lives after the war. The brotherhood, my friends, is here.?