BROWNSBURG — Getting a jump on Veterans’ Day, the Brownsburg Rotary Club held its first ever Veterans Appreciation Day during its weekly meeting at Dawson’s Too Sticks & Stones on Thursday.
During the ceremony, 27 veterans were honored, some of which were also Rotary Club members and others who were from the community.
Rotary Club member and U.S. Army veteran Charles Ratliff, who served from 1942 to ‘45, was the Guest of Honor.
Brownsburg High School Interact Club members David Huston, Jessica Merritt, and Kevin Albert helped to honor Ratliff by presenting him with an American flag and a signed poster. The Interact Club, which stands for International Action, is a high school based service club that works alongside the local rotary club and helps out with projects in the community and internationally.
Rotary Club President David Heffner gave a quick background on Ratliff’s army career.
“Charlie joined the Army in 1942 and shipped out to France,” he said. “He served overseas for a little bit and at the end of the war in Europe, (he was) home on leave and was on his way to Japan when they dropped the atomic bombs. Charlie was subsequently discharged from the Army in 1945. Charlie is our oldest living World War II veteran. I thought it was appropriate to take the opportunity to honor Charlie for his service to our country and the Interact students have been kind enough to step up.”
The club also honored soldiers listed as POWs (prisoners of war) or MIAs (missing in action) by setting a table honoring them.
Rotary Club member Vicki Murphy, who served in the U.S. Army from 1993 to ‘99, explained the significance of the table.
“You may have noticed the small table, the place of honor here,” she said. “It’s set for one, and this table is our way of symbolizing the fact that members of our military are missing from our midst.