Honoring veterans

Three branches of the U.S. military were represented when the Smethport Rotary Club honored veterans. From left are Bob Wright, U.S. Air Force; Clint Williams, U.S. Army; and David Tanner, U.S. Marines. Tanner also served with the Air National Guard.


SMETHPORT (EC) — The Smethport Rotary Club honored veterans for their service during a luncheon held at the Desert Rose Cafe.

Eight veterans of World War II, Vietnam and peacetime spoke briefly about their years in the armed services. Representing the U.S. Army were Clint Williams, Seth Digel, Mike Keller, Frank Eppley and Bob Witchen. From the U.S. Air Force were Bob Wright and Sue McClelland, who is also a Smethport Rotarian. David Tanner served with the U.S. Marines and later in the Air National Guard

Each veteran spoke briefly about his or her military service.

Williams, 92, is a World War veteran, having served from 1943-45. He was assigned to Europe.

Digel, a retired Smethport teacher, was assigned with the First Infantry in Vietnam in 1968-69.

Keller's service covered 1986-90. He was assigned to Fort Polk and Fort Knox, in addition to Germany.

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Another Vietnam veteran, Eppley, was on a search and destroy mission when he was wounded three times in during the Tet Offensive in 1968. He holds a Purple Heart and Bronze Star with "V" for valor. He is now a pastor.

Witchen was in the Army from 1962-65. A company clerk, he was assigned to stations in Georgia, Arkansas and Arizona.

Wright enlisted in 1968. During his eight years in the military, Wright was a computer specialist, having been stationed in Texas and Colorado.

Initially, Tanner spent four years in the Marines; this was followed by 27 years with the Air National Guard. Egypt, France, Oman and Turkey were among his station assignments. McClelland is now a financial advisor in Smethport. During 1979-85, she was stationed in Texas, Colorado, Arizona and Germany.


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