World War II veterans reunite
TOWANDA - They call themselves the World War II "Last Man's Club."
Sadly, they are now closer to the last man.
The group of local World War II veterans, which numbered 120 in the beginning, is now down to just a handful of men as time has taken its toll.
On Sunday, they gathered at the pavilion behind the American Legion in Towanda for their 61st annual reunion.
They brought old photos showing their group when the members gathered in long rows for pictures. In the front row in one photo, Dick Snell can be seen holding the American flag.
Glenn Roberts, who spoke on behalf of the club, said the annual reunion is a time for them to get together and talk about old times.
He noted the members are now in their 80's.
"Old age is getting to us," the D-Day veteran noted.
In addition to Roberts and Snell, the remaining members of the club are Howard Kerr, Jim Powers, Lou Phillipi, Glenn Meisenhelter, Bob McGovern, Art Spengler, and Jim Hurda.
"We get together and enjoy each other's company," Kerr said.
Recalling his service in the war, Kerr, who served in the South Pacific, said, "it was an interesting experience, but we wouldn't want to do it again."
He said people should learn the lesson of freedom from the war. Freedom isn't free, he pointed out.
Kerr had respect for those serving in the war in Afghanistan, saying they are dedicated.
He thought that the war there was tougher, noting that the soldiers have to avoid improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, rather than only bullets and shells.
And he thought the cycle of the soldiers going and coming home was tough, especially for those with families.
"For us, it was a duration."
Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.