West Marshall honors World War II veterans

STATE CENTER – West Marshall High School students got a lesson they couldn’t learn in a textbook Monday.

The school celebrated Veterans Day by honoring a group of local World War II veterans and other veterans in the area.

“I think it’s really important that we show our students how important it is to be patriotic and to pay homage to our veterans who serve for us,” said Patti Edler, West Marshall guidance counselor and organizer of the event at the high school auditorium.

A group of World War II veterans were honored on stage including Ray Frohwein, LeRoy Dammen, Wilma Eckhart, Ralph Howe, Bill Seeger, Donald Buck, Harold Grant, Donald Lane and Vern Pfantz.

“We are lucky and honored to have you on our stage,” Edler told them.

Pearl Harbor veteran John Jones, who died earlier this year, was also recognized. Ivan Bodie couldn’t make the ceremony and was recognized through the appearance of his wife, Barb Bodie.

The ceremony included the announcement of biographical information for each WWII veteran.

“It was very nice,” said Buck, a resident of State Center. “They did a wonderful job. We appreciate it.”

Frohwein said he was honored and he advises all young people to serve two years in military service.

“Serve two years in the service and you’ll grow up,” he said.

Edler said it was important for everyone in attendance to learn what the World War II veterans went through.

“These people are the storytellers and we need to tell their stories,” Edler said.

The metals class at West Marshall presented the World War II veterans with a “West Marshall veteran” metal sign made by the students.

The school also honored two high school staff members who are veterans including Lonnie Ferguson and Jesse Young. Both teachers served in Iraq as part of the National Guard.