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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Honor Vets-Veterans all over Marinette County were recognized for their service Saturday, Nov. 11 to honor Veteran's Day. Operation United Hearts and volunteers held a special ceremony at George Webb Restaurant on that day. Bev Doucette organized the day's activities which included special recognition to Army Veteran Eugene Frank of Peshtigo. Top Photo: From left are Peshtigo Mayor Cathi Malke, Lt. Colonel Ellis Langjahr, Eugene Frank, and Marinette County Supervisor Shirley Kaufman pictured after Frank received his certificate of recognition from the City of Peshtigo. Bottom Photo: Bev Doucette and Kathy Crabtree distribute mail during "Mail Call" to veterans Larry Behnke and Randy Jarvis.

Area Veterans and Eugene Frank Honored By Operation United Hearts

Over 180 area veterans received a free breakfast courtesy of George Webb Restaurant in Peshtigo on Saturday, Nov. 11 for Veteran's Day.

This year, Veteran's Day also turned out to be extra special for Eugene Frank, who along with his son Chris, own George Webb Restaurant and the Eagle Truck Stop in which it is located. Frank, an army veteran of the Viet Nam War, thought he was just hosting the breakfasts for veterans.

However, when it came time for the formal portion of the Veteran's Day observances, Frank was surprised to find himself singled out for honors by by Operation United Hearts and the City of Peshtigo for his many years of helping and honoring other area veterans.

Like each of the other veterans who visited his George Webb restaurant on Veterans Day, Frank received a free flag lapel pin and a patriotic coaster representing the various military branches along with other gifts, courtesy of Operation United Hearts.

Each veteran was also given five free tickets as entries for door prizes and gift baskets, which were given out throughout the day. No one had to be present to win.

"Mail Call" was a special time for the vets. Students from Peshtigo Learning Center and Peshtigo Junior/Senior High school wrote words of thanks to each veteran, and those notes were passed around to the veterans.

Opening the formal program portion of the day, United Hearts representative Bev Doucette reminded everyone, "Veterans, ladies and gentlemen, today we are gathered to remember and observe the anniversary of the armistice that put an end to World War I. All across America on the 11th day of the 11th month at 11 am people take the time to commemorate the Armistice that took place in 1918 when the war was over. Today, this remembrance is called Veterans Day."

Doucette called for a moment of silence from everyone as a sign of respect to all veterans, where ever they may be, before turning the speaker over to Peshtigo Mayor Cathi Malke.

"I would like to welcome you to today's ceremony and thank you for attending," said Mayor Malke. "Veterans Day is to honor the service of people who have worn the uniforms of the armed forces and I am honored to be speaking with our veterans and their families today on such an important occasion.

"Thinking of the many patriots who join us in this group today, and those who are here only in spirit, a person can't help but feel awed by the enormity of how important this day is.

"The service members we honor today came from all walks of life, but what they share is the fundamental structure of courage, pride, determination, selflessness, dedication to duty and integrity - all the qualities needed to serve a cause larger than one's self, qualities that deserve our highest gratitude.

"There aren't many places in the world where men and women we have never met will fight, with their lives, to grant us rights that not everyone else has. There aren't many of those places where those same men and women don't ask for anything in return. They just love this country and its people enough that they are willing to fight for them.

"Your dedication to the cause of world peace and your love of country is an inspiration to all of us and today is our day to celebrate you, our veterans, and we are grateful for the opportunity to share this day with you.

"On behalf of Peshtigo and surrounding communities, I extend a heartfelt appreciation for the veterans of this nation and, specifically, those who are here today!"

Doucette then reiterated the words spoken by Mayor Malke, and added, "There aren't many places where those same men and women don't ask for anything in return...which brings us to the time in our program where we would like to pay tribute to a veteran in our midst who is constantly and effectively making sure that our veterans are not forgotten.

"Be it through the visuals on the sides of his trucks as they roar down the highway, or the many memorials, reminders and tributes to veterans adorning the Eagle Express, or his outreach for every event, celebration or fundraiser surrounding veteran causes, and last but not least, he is the hand that many times reaches out to a veteran in need of personal assistance and they will never know him.

"This veteran will stand before us today not for himself, but as a personal reminder of all veterans, because that is what he does, makes sure the veterans are never, ever forgotten."

She summoned Frank to the podium, and Mayor Malke read aloud a special certificate of appreciation to him from the City of Peshtigo:

"With great appreciation, respect and gratitude for your tireless efforts in support of our local veterans, Eugene George Frank, we salute you. Thank you for serving and for honoring those who served. Your loyalty to those who have fallen and for those who have served in commendable and an honorable way to preserve the dignity, worth and importance of every heroic man and woman who served in our military.

"There is something in a soldier that makes him stand apart. You can see it when he walks and hear it when he talks; there is something in a soldier you can see in his eyes. It is the loyalty of soldiers and their everlasting ties. God Bless America, God Bless You. Given this eleventh day of November, two thousand seventeen. City of Peshtigo, Wisconsin, County of Marinette."

"May this be the start of a very meaningful day for you," Mayor Malke concluded before handing him the certificate.

Frank also received a special crystal trophy with an eagle inside as recognition for his outstanding dedication to veterans and their causes. Lt. Colonel Ellis Langjahr of Marinette, was on hand to make the presentation. In his remarks, an emotional Frank, surrounded by his family, thanked everyone for the honors and for celebrating Veteran's Day at George Webb.


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