A Brown County man who joined the Canadian Army in World War II to get around a medical rejection from all American branches will be the keynote speaker at this year’s community Veterans Day program.
Robert “Bob” Richards will speak at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11 in the Larry C. Banks Memorial Gymnasium at Brown County High School.
The program starts with a social hour for veterans at 8 a.m. The public can begin arriving and taking seats for the popular event at 9 a.m. before students arrive at 9:15 a.m.
Veterans of all branches, wartime and peacetime, are invited to participate in the program. Each year they process into the gym grouped by era of service.
Richards and his Canadian Highland Light Infantry platoon landed after the initial assault on Juno Beach of Normandy, France in June 1944.
He was 20, a farm boy and part-time truck driver from Brown County.
Richards had spent two years trying to enlist in any branch of the U.S. military that would take him, but every time, he was rejected on medical grounds because X-rays showed black lumps in his lungs. He had worked spreading limestone dust on fields and doctors thought the X-rays showed tuberculosis, he told The Democrat for a story in 2014.
After Germany’s surrender, Richards volunteered for service in the Pacific, but the war ended before his American unit was deployed.
In 1994, Richards participated in a reenactment of the D-Day invasion in Chicago, and in 2014, returned to Normandy for the first time since the war, according to newspaper archives.
The community Veterans Day celebration also will include information about the Indy Honor Flight program for veterans and the Veterans History Project being conducted by the BCHS History Club; the announcement of winners in the 2016 Voice of Democracy essay contest and the Patriot’s Pin; and a musical military salute performed by high school and junior high bands and choirs.
Afterward, veterans and spouses are invited to a luncheon in the high school’s auxiliary gym.
Veterans Day program to travel to care center
After the Community Veterans Day Program wraps up at Brown County High School on Friday, Nov. 11, another program will take place at Brown County Health and Living Community so that residents can attend.
It will begin at 2 p.m.
Annual veterans’ bean dinner date set
The Brown County Vietnam Veterans will serve the annual Buck Stogsdill Bean Dinner from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12 at Veterans Hall on McLary Road, at Deer Run Park.
The dinner is for all veterans and their families.
Order a wreath for a veteran’s grave
MORGANTOWN — Saturday, Dec. 17, is Wreaths Across America Day, a designation begun in Arlington National Cemetery to honor veterans.
Meredith-Clark Funeral Home Cremation & Personalization Center is a local sponsorship location. Grave wreaths for veterans can be ordered for a $15 donation to the Wreaths Across America Project through Monday, Nov. 28, at the funeral home, 179 E. Mulberry St.
Wreaths will arrive for pickup at the funeral home during the week of Dec 12.
For more information, call 812-597-4670.
Program planned on veterans’ benefits
Brown County Veterans Service Officer Ron Higgins will speak about veterans’ benefits, health care and more at the Brown County Career Resource Center, 246 E. Main St., from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2.
A question-and-answer period will follow.
For more information, call the CRC at 812-988-5880.