Tel Hai honors veterans of the ‘Forgotten War'

Dr. Charles Lutz, 2nd Lt., US Army, still fits into his uniform and is a founder of the veterans group that gathers monthly on Tel Hai's campus. Photo provided

Tel Hai’s veterans will gather to mark Veterans Day and a display of residents’ military service is being showcased in the Garrett Community Center lobby during the month of November.

Two Korean War veterans played a major role in establishing and growing the group, which now numbers over 100.

In 2008, Dr. Charles Lutz, US Army, asked if a veterans’ directory existed on the community’s campus. None had been established yet, so he volunteered to create just such a resource with assistance from the social worker in residential living.

From that paper record, a lively and dedicated group was formed in 2009 with the additional support from Mahlon Rossiter, US Navy. These gentlemen took responsibility for updating the record of US service persons on campus and also held informational and stirring programs on campus for residents and the greater community on each Memorial and Veterans Day that followed.

The “Greatest Generation” who participated in WWII is often cited for their sacrifice and bravery, but the seven members of the Tel Hai vets group who served in Korea, often referred to as the “forgotten war,” also served with distinction. Among them is Mac Chandler, 2nd Lt., US Army, who served in the 7th Infantry from 1950-51 in Hyesanjin, Inchon and along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The Marines who saw brutal warfare at the Chosin Reservoir were members of the 1st Marines Division — and resident Will Gaul, Capt., US Marines, also served in the 7th Marines/1st Marines Division in Chosin and Inchon in 1950-51. Herb Davis, 1st Lt., US Army, served in 1951-52, spending time at the Iron Triangle Battlefield — the site of the highest number of casualties during the war. Mahlon Rossiter, Lt. Cdr, US Navy, served aboard aircraft carriers in 1952 along the Korean peninsula.

Although the war’s stalemate resulted in an armistice agreement signed July 27, 1953, US servicemen were still in the country beyond that date. From 1952-54, Carl Rogers served as a PFC, US Army, with the 3rd Infantry Division as a combat engineer. John Stager, a corporal in the US Army, served in Pusan in 1954. Chuck Lutz, 2nd Lt., US Army, served with the 7th Infantry Division at Munsan and along the DMZ.

It is fitting that at this time of year we honor their service and sacrifice.