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Salute to Veterans

James “Bud” Kornse: A life of service

By Natalie Strom natalie@coastalbreezenews.com Three wars and thirty years of service. This is the life of James “Bud” Kornse, Marco Island resident and military veteran. Born March 5, 1927, Bud spent 30 years in the Navy. After retiring, his contributions to his country still continued. From World War II, to the Korean War to Vietnam to the present day, Bud fought for freedom and veteran affairs on the battlefield and beyond. Born and raised just outside of Atlantic City, New Jersey, Bud was the oldest of four. At the age of five, he began boxing at the local YMCA, where ... Read More »

Veterans Day celebration leads to surprise reunion

By Natalie Strom The Veterans Day Ceremony at Veterans’ Memorial Park on November 11th was certainly one to remember. Special Guest Speaker, General James K. Guest, would definitely agree. During his speech he explained to the large crowd why this particular Veterans’ Day was so special to him. “Veterans’ Day is a day to remember the life-long friendships that were forged on the battlefield. This is one of the greatest benefits of being a veteran,” General Guest told the crowd. With that he invited two men onto the stage, both who served under him during the Vietnam War. VFW Commander ... Read More »

Veteran’s notes

Honor a Hero: Call for Photos Campaign If you have a photo of anyone who died in the Vietnam conflict or know someone who does, you can help honor a hero. The traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall known as “The Wall That Heals” will be installed on Marco Island at Veterans Community Park from December 7 through 10. If you have a photo of someone killed in that conflict, bring it to the information center at The Wall. You will be asked to fill out an information form about that person. The photo and the information will be uploaded to ... Read More »

SALUTE TO VETS

A TRIUMPH OF LOVE IN THE MIDDLE OF WAR By Jane A. Marlowe Coastal Breeze News salutes a couple as part of its continuing recognition of World War II veterans. Two young lieutenants met while serving in the United States Army and neither war nor far away assignments could keep them from finding each other again and again. Georgia Ivanoff Olsen resides on Marco Island in the same condo she shared with her husband, Edward, until his death here in 2005. Their northern homes were in Chicago and Fontana on Lake Geneva, Wisconsin where they raised their only child, Lucienne. ... Read More »

Fire! Fire! Fire! This is not a Drill!

Bill Duncan recalls the Blazing Inferno on the USS Forrestal (CVA-59) – July 29, 1967 By Carol Glassman The USS Forrestal, the flagship of the 7th Fleet and pride of the Navy, was so large it was classified as a super carrier. The nearly 60,000-ton Forrestal was launched in 1954 and in spite of its size, could still attain speeds of 33 knots. On June 6, 1967 she left Norfolk, Virginia for combat deployment, routed to WESTPAC (Western Pacific) duty. On July 25, fully loaded with fighter/attack squadrons, the giant carrier arrived in Yankee Station, Gulf of Tonkin, off the ... Read More »

Tim Sullivan – I’ve been to 54 countries and every continent

Navy from Feb 73-Sept 93 The draft was in effect so I decided to ‘join’ rather than be pulled out of school. The day I was sworn in, President Nixon ended the draft! My dad had been in World War II, I remember when asking him but he always refused to talk about it. I took service day by day, the war in Vietnam was coming to an end. I liked being in the navy, there were no worries. For boot camp, I went to the US Naval Station Rosie Roads in Puerto Rico, similar climate to here. Then transferred ... Read More »

Tim Sullivan: I’ve been to 54 countries and every continent

Navy from Feb 73-Sept 93 The draft was in effect so I decided to ‘join’ rather than be pulled out of school. The day I was sworn in, President Nixon ended the draft! My dad had been in World War II, I remember when asking him but he always refused to talk about it. I took service day by day, the war in Vietnam was coming to an end. I liked being in the navy, there were no worries. For boot camp, I went to the US Naval Station Rosie Roads in Puerto Rico, similar climate to here. Then transferred ... Read More »

DROP IN ANYTIME…. Part Two

“A day doesn’t go by that I don’t think of Vietnam. One day, August 19, 1969 I found a tunnel. When I pulled on the handle, the VC pulled back. I started to pull harder and I believe I was breaking his knuckles. Finally, he let go and I fell backwards with the cement cover. At the same time he threw a grenade up. It was an American M-26 hand grenade which has a three-second delay. He wasn’t counting on that, or my head would have been blown off. He threw it up and it fell back down and killed ... Read More »

DROP IN ANYTIME…. Part One

I’ve had the pleasure of hearing Lieutenant Colonel William Howey (Ret) speak to a group of Rotarians on Marco Island. It is an honor for anyone to hear him speak. Lieutenant Colonel Howey readily garners the attention of every member of his audience with his thrilling, and often edge-of-your-seat scary, life experiences. Speaking with him candidly during this interview was even more enjoyable… “In the first game of my junior football season I had my arm broken badly; there were actually thirty-four breaks and chips! It was so bad I spent nine weeks lying in a hospital bed with a ... Read More »

180 pounds going in, 90 pounds coming out!

SALUTE TO VETERAN FRED BURNHAM, JR. When Fred Burnham, Jr. considered enlisting, apples were only 24 cents a pound and donuts were only 10 cents a dozen! If that doesn’t put a time line in perspective for you, his father, who had the foresight to suggest Fred enlist, was born in 1875. His father loved to read and had some college education. In 1937, Fred was a junior in college. “I came through the front door and my dad was in his rocking chair.” He said, “Fred, if I were you, I’d seek something in the military. It would be ... Read More »

“I Thought I was Invincible!”

Coastal Breeze News salutes Gil Mueller in our ‘Salute to Veterans’ Series By Val Simon and John Patterson Gil Mueller started getting draft notices while he was still in high school in Park Ridge, Illinois. He was still too young to serve in the military. But as they say, the third time is a charm, at least for the government that is, because in the fall of 1942, when he received his third draft notice, he was not deferred due to his young age since he was now eighteen years old. After taking the required entrance exams, he was put ... Read More »

Joe ‘Pepsodent Smile’ Capilets

Salute to Veterans: Continued from last issue When I was young we were children of the depression. My father had no work and raised four kids. So, I poured my heart into sports; it was free.” He dreamt of being in the big league someday. At 17 he was offered an opportunity to be in the minor leagues, 3-I League (Illinois, Indiana and Iowa). Joe laments, “I didn’t have the guts to take the offer. I didn’t think I could handle eating in greasy spoons all the time while on the road and with so little pay. After I graduated ... Read More »

Joe ‘Pepsodent Smile’ Capilets

“Hello Soldier!  Welcome to your death.” Joseph C. Capilets was inducted into the US Army on February 11, 1943. He was assigned to the 87th Infantry Division, ‘The Golden Acorn’, 346th Regiment. After nine weeks of basic training, Joe was assigned to S-3 Section, Plans and Training at Camp McCain, Mississippi. The 87th trained new recruits for assignment overseas. While engaged in training, the 346th participated in the South Carolina Serviceman’s Baseball League. Joe relates that one week prior to shipping out to the European Theater, the 346th lost a heartbreaker, 1-0 to the 15th Armored Division. He remembers this well, as four of that team’s ... Read More »

What was it Like?

A young man stopped me on the Washington Mall, I was reading the names on the Vietnam wall. He said  “tell me, soldier, about Vietnam. What was it like to fight the Viet Cong?” I looked at him, straight in the eye and said  “Okay, Son, I’ll give it a try. I’ll answer your question, if you’ll take the time to answer just a few questions of mine.” I said: Have you ever had to pick up a gun? Learn to fight  while on the run? Learn to kill and learn to hide and learn to keep the fears inside? ... Read More »

Salute to Veteran Owen Carr

This is the second in our series of Salute to Our Veterans! The handicap ramp and American flag flying high were unmistakable indications I was at the right place, veteran Owen Carr’s home. Owen had lost his leg during his military service. The memories many returning soldiers carry are difficult enough, Owen returned with those memories and a physical reminder that would be with him always. Owen enlisted on September 7, 1942, just days after his 18th birthday on September 1. He served in the United States Army Air Force in Guadalcanal in the Southwest Pacific. For those unfamiliar, Guadalcanal ... Read More »

Flag Etiquette

From the Official Site of the Veterans of Foreign Wars The federal flag code says the universal custom is to display the U.S. flag from sunrise to sunset on buildings and stationary flagstaffs in the open, but when a patriotic effect is desired the flag may be displayed 24-hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness. Also, the U.S. flag should not be displayed when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is displayed. Displaying the Flag On Same Staff – U.S. flag at peak, above any other flag. Grouped – U.S. flag goes to its own ... Read More »

Veterans of foreign wars post 6370

Dave Gardner, a veteran of the Korean war and long-time Marco Island resident, removes flags from a receptacle at Veteran’s Community Park. “I remove the flags once a week in season and about every 10 days or so out of season.” This particular day the box is filled with flags, so much so the last flag didn’t drop down into the receptacle, but rather sat on top of the drawer. There were over 50 flags in this box located at Veteran’s Community Park, another box is located at City Hall. From large flags torn and worn, to a nylon flag ... Read More »