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The spring gathering of Outpost #13 was held on 13 May at Baker's of Milford. There were 63 members and guests in attendance. Vice President Gordon Draper opened the meeting and introduced the Huron Valley American Veterans AmVets Post 2006 who conducted an impressive Presentation of the Colors Ceremony. This was followed by the singing of the National Anthem and “Dog Faced Soldier” lead by Gordon Draper. Sergeant Joseph Salvia, commander of Post 2006, then lead the group in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. The invocation was given by Gerry Mantela, Chaplain of Post 2006. President Richard Faulkner introduced the many guests present.

Then came the highlight of the gathering, the presentation of the Korean Ambassador for Peace Medals. These were awarded by the Government of South Korea to veterans who served during the Korean War from 25 June 1950 to 27 July 1953 or participated in the UN Peacekeeping operations until the end of 1953. The procedures for receiving this medal for qualified veterans will be covered in a separate article in this issue.

The following members of Outpost #13 were awarded the medals: Ross Brown, Salvatore DiFranco, Richard Faulkner, Walter Kajawa, Verland Loveland, Thomas Moloney, Paul Oleynik Jr., Gene Peterson, and William Strong. Mrs. Dorothy Tennant received the medal on behalf of her deceased husband, Terry Tennant. Mrs. Ruth Knight represented George Knight, her husband, who is recovering from an illness. In addition, medals were sent to the families of Jack Bates, Patrick Hascall, and William Strecker, who were either deceased or too ill to attend. James McCarthy had already received his award at a prior military event. Chaplain Allen gave the blessing and the group then had a delicious buffet luncheon.

Following the meal Gordon Draper told of his experiences when visiting Panmunjom, the site of the negotiations which resulted in the truce which ended the fighting.  He visited the room where the talks took place. In the center of the room is the table around which the negotiators sat. Half is in South Korea and half is in North Korea. If one walks around the table one can say, “I was in both Koreas,” which of course everyone did. At each end of the room are doors, one leading to South Korea and one leading to North Korea. A very stern-faced soldier stood in front of the door which led to the north making sure no one wondered out. This would have caused an international incident which could have had very serious consequences. Draper was surprised by how tense things were even half a century after hostilities ceased. When they were outside looking across the border, he saw a group of people and rather naively pointed to them, asking the lieutenant guide what they were doing. The officer shouted, "DON'T POINT!" No one wanted to do anything that would get the other side excited. This was even before the present ruler started firing rockets.

A report from Secretary/Treasurer Amy McKenna was given. We now have 73 members in our outpost and have $947.80 in the bank. Door prize and 50/50 drawings then took place.

A video of the song "God Bless the USA" was shown by Sgt. Salvia. “Taps” was played in memory of all deceased veterans and especially for Terry Tenant, Jake Bates, and Henry Waddell.

Post 2006 then retired the colors and the meeting was closed. As usual, members posed for a group photo immediately after the meeting. Parked outside was a World War II jeep belonging to Sgt. Salvia which everyone enjoyed seeing along with a canteen, mess kit, and entrenching tool of the era.

The fall meeting will take place on 14 October 2017. The next spring meeting will be held on 12 May 2018. Both will be held at Baker's of Milford which is three miles north of Exit 155 of Hwy I-96.

Submitted by Gordon W. Draper, Vice President

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