Calling on the hopes and dreams of servicemen everywhere, the Newcomerstown Veterans of Foreign Wars Darrell O. Beiter Post 3303 celebrated its 75th anniversary Tuesday, May 25 at the Olde Main Street Social Center in Newcomerstown.
Leon Johnson, Ohio's State commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, called the occasion a "major milestone" for all VFW members.
"You can take pride in your achievements and I salute you for your efforts," Commander Johnson said. "You have kept alive the hopes of those servicemen who created the Post 75 years ago."
Commander Johnson presented a commemorative certificate to Marvin Garretson, current commander of the Newcomerstown Post.
The Newcomerstown chapter was created on May 25, 1935, and was named for Darrell O. Beiter, one of the first Newcomerstown natives killed in World War I. A special display, featuring a World War I helmet and a picture of Beiter, was framed on one side by a United State flag and on the other by a flag of the Newcomerstown Post.
Vane Scott was master of ceremonies for the evening, which opened with the posting of the colors by Marines Travis Stocker and Jason Miller of Newcomerstown, and the placing of a "Prisoner of War/Missing in Action" flag by U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Jim Thorton (retired).
Among those helping to honor the Newcomerstown Post was Newcomerstown Mayor Steve Guy, who read a proclamation; Tuscarawas County commissioners Kerry Metzger, Chris Abbuhl and Jim Seldenright; Carolyn Woodring, representing the Newcomerstown Chamber of Commerce; and representatives of other service organizations, including Jim Everhart of the American Legion, Virgil Quillin of the Vietnam Veterans, Debbie Cook of the Tuscarawas County Veterans Service Office, Linus Kitchelman of the New Philadelphia VFW Post and John Gallagher of the Three Rivers Council of the VFW.
Gene Poland, recently named "Veteran of the Year" by the Newcomerstown Chamber of Commerce, was recognized as "The Man Who Saved the Post" for his work in reviving the group when it nearly went under in 1989.
Commemorative pins were given to veterans who were present and Scott paid tribute to those currently serving in the armed forces, saying, "Our generation was called the 'Greatest Generation' but surely those serving now are as great at doing what they're doing as we ever were."
In addition to Commander Garretson, other officers of the Newcomerstown VFW include: Dave Casteel, first vice commander; Harry Kenney, second vice commander; Leonard Cameron, quartermaster; Denny Ross, service officer; Vane Scott, adjutant; Denny Belle, chaplain; and Paul Morrison, Master at Arms. Trustees are Casteel, Kenney and John Joyner.
Chaplain Belle opened and closed the evening with prayer.
The meal was catered by Baker's IGA of Newcomerstown.