In honor and recognition of Veterans Day, area veterans, who also are members of American Legion Post 62, were invited to share some details of their military service and offer their thoughts on what Nov. 11 means to them.
Growing up, Patrick Norris, 74, of Huddleston, was one of eight boys. “Out of all the boys, they all went into the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force,” he recalled. “So I thought, ‘OK, I’ll complete this cycle and join the Navy.’ I took the Navy, and I was the only one.”
Norris spent 6½ years in the military. “I was a ground-pounder as we called them,” he said. “I was in aviation. I repaired aircraft. I’ve been on aircraft carriers, but I also served time in Guam and the Mariana Islands. My last duty station was Sanford, Florida.”
When asked what he wanted future generations to know about veterans, Norris replied, “Honor and respect. That’s two things that are missing, and I’d like to see it come back.”
Ron Roseveare, 78, lives in the Cedar Key community of the lake. He joined the Navy Reserves in 1957 and served the Navy on active duty for 2½ years.
“As a teenager, I was in the Sea Scouts and always loved being around the water,” Roseveare said. “So when it looked like I may be drafted, I picked the Navy.”
While he did not witness combat during his time in the military, Roseveare said, “I served on a destroyer, which was assigned as a recovery ship to the first space capsule program.”
To commemorate Veterans Day, Roseveare places flags on veterans’ graves to recognize their service to the country.
“I have had several close family members serve in combat in World War II and witnessed their personal sacrifices,” he said.
Hardy resident Mike Herron, 72, was drafted into the military out of high school. He served for four years, from 1966-70 in the Navy Air (Flight Squadron VP 8).
“I was in an anti-submarine warfare unit,” Herron said. “Our responsibility was to protect the fleet from submarine threats and to patrol the East Coast of the United States from Soviet Union threat.”
Herron visited many countries, including Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, Spain, Portugal, Bermuda and New Zealand.
For him, Veterans Day is a time of reflection. “It is a day of remembrance for those who served and those who serve today, protecting us all around the world from the evils that would do us harm,” Herron said. “I spend the day thinking of my fellow veterans that I served with and those who throughout all the wars that gave so much for all of us, including the ultimate sacrifice.”
Herron wants younger generations to know that he was proud to have served his country and to understand the significance of the flag. “I’m not sure that the younger generations look at our flag the way veterans do,” he said. “Even the colors of Old Glory means so much to veterans — red for valor and bravery, white for purity and innocence and blue for vigilance and justice.”
Thomas Faull of Moneta was drafted into the Army and served two years starting in 1962 with the majority of his service (18 months) as a military policeman guarding bunkers and missiles.
To Faull, who is now 80, Veterans Day is “a reminder of all of the service personnel who died or who are missing, protecting our freedom, as well as those who served or who are currently serving to protect our country and freedom.”
When asked what he wanted future generations to know about him and other veterans, Faull responded, “Respect the military for what they have done or are doing to protect our freedom.”
Moneta resident Gary Miller served for 23 years in the Army, Army Reserves and National Guard. Although his active duty service was during the Vietnam era, he did not witness combat. Upon his retirement, Miller, 66, joined the American Legion and in July was installed as post commander of American Legion Post 62.
“I feel great having been able to be a member of the American Legion,” Miller said. “It is important for all veterans to be in an organization supporting all vets past and present.”
Longtime American Legion member Earl Jacquot, 86, was called up to the Navy from the Naval Reserves and served from 1950-54 during the Korean War. “I was stationed on the aircraft carrier Franklin Delano Roosevelt CV-42,” he recalled. “I came aboard as a journalist, but became a 5-inch gunner.”
One of the most memorable events during Jacquot’s time in the Navy was participating in Exercise Mainbrace, a large-scale exercise in September 1952 that involved naval forces from nine countries who displayed their battle readiness for the Soviet Union.
After his time in the service, Jacquot returned to his hometown of Cincinnati and joined the American Legion. In 2018, he was recognized as one of the organization’s longtime members with 60 years of service.
To commemorate Veterans Day, Jacquot and other chapter members will host a ceremony at the memorial at the Moneta/SML Library at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 11. “It’s our way of keeping our legacy alive and knowing the sacrifices we have made to keep our freedom out of harm’s way.”
Like other veterans, Nov. 11 is a time of remembrance for Jacquot. “Freedom does not come without a personal price,” he said. “We can never take it for granted. So we as veterans must keep this legacy in the forefront for future generations.”