Six Vietnam Veterans Will Be Honored at the Annual Aurora Farmers Fair

The presentation will take place on Thursday, September 30 at 6 p.m.

 

Top (Left to Right) Raymond Rodmaker, Mike Witte, Bo Schreiner Bottom (Left to Right) Fred Lester, Ed Shannon, Marty Sizemore. Photos provided.

(Aurora, Ind.) Six Veterans will be presented with plaques and Quilts of Valor at the annual Aurora Farmers Fair.

The presentation will take place on Thursday, September 30 at 6 p.m.

All six men served in Vietnam and have stayed involved in various veterans organizations.

Honorees include Raymond Rodmaker, Mike Witte, Bo Schreiner, Fred Lester, Ed Shannon and Marty Sizemore.

Bios provided by PG Gentrup.

Raymond Rodmaker

Raymond was born to Margaret and Raymond Rodmaker in Cincinnati, OH on June 18, 1948 and the family lived in Manchester. He attended grade school in Manchester and graduated from Aurora High School in 1966. He enlisted in the United States Navy on June 17, 1966 just after graduating from high school. This was one day before his 18th birthday. He went to Boot Camp at Great Lakes, IL. Raymond served on the USS Dupont DD941 from 1966-69. He did a tour in 1967 for 11 months on Vietnam duty and was back to Vietnam for another 11 month tour in 1969. He served on the USS John King DDG3 from 1969-72. Then he had shore duty at Great Lakes, IL from 1972-75 as a Company Commander pushing recruits. He also completed a Mediterranean cruise of 7 months in 1968. In 1970 he cruised the North Atlantic for six months and in 1971 did an 8 month Mediterranean cruise. He participated in 8 cruises in the Caribbean and 4 cruises to Gitmo, Cuba. He rose to the rank of E-6 First Class Petty Officer. He was awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and the Navy Good Conduct Medal. Raymond retired from the Kroger Co. after nearly 30 years of service. He is a Life Member of the Southeastern Indiana Vietnam Veterans of America Lary D. Fogle Chapter 71 in Aurora. He recently received his 50 year pin from the American Legion. He is also a member of the DAV. Raymond and his wife, Sharon, have two children, Mary and Eddie and one granddaughter, Ava Raye. Raymond is an avid fisherman and enjoys going to Canada and Florida with his long time friend and fellow Vietnam Veteran, Mike Witte. They catch plenty of fish and bring them back to feed their fellow veterans in VVA Chapter 71. Raymond is proud of his service to our great nation and fully supports our troops serving today and our veterans.

Michael Lee Witte

Mike was born on July 8, 1948 at Milan, IN to Herbert Leon and Susie Belle (Mangold) Witte. He has three brothers: Robert, Kenny and Walt. He has 2 sisters: Glenda and Faye. Robert and Glenda are deceased. He attended Aurora Northside Grade School and graduated from Aurora High School in 1967. One year later he was inducted into the United States Army. He completed basic training at Ft. Benning, GA on May 1, 1968 and went to Ft. Sam Houston, TX to train to be a medic. He was sent to Vietnam for one year where he served as a Combat Medic with Company D, 2 nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Division (Big Red One) and the 196th Infantry Brigade. He was awarded our nation’s third highest award for Gallantry in Action, the Silver Star, for his bravery at Tien Phuoc Valley in Vietnam on March 20, 1969. After his Tour of Duty in Vietnam he returned to the USA and was assigned to Ft. Riley, KS. After Mike was discharged from the Army, he was employed at Thatcher Glass, which became Anchor Glass, for 43 years until his retirement. Mike had purchased his mom and dad’s farm out on Hogan Hill Road in 1970 and still lives there today. Mike carried on a family tradition because his grandfather was a Medic in World War I and his dad was a Medic in Korea. Mike is a Life Member of the Southeastern Indiana Vietnam Veterans of America Lary D. Fogle Chapter 71 in Aurora. He is a member of Moores Hill American Legion Post 209. Mike has three children: a daughter, Michelle, and two sons, Timmy and Joey. He has six grandchildren, 5 boys and 1 girl. Mike is proud of his service and it’s impressive knowing that he is a third generation Combat Medic. He was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, Meritorious Unit Citation, Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Bronze Star, Silver Star and Combat Infantryman’s Badge (CIB). He qualified as an expert with the rifle. Mike is proud to be an American and fully supports our men and women serving today. He is always ready and willing to help a fellow veteran and serves in the Southeastern Indiana Honor Guard.

Lutz "Bo" Schreiner

Bo Schreiner was born in Batesville, IN on January 20, 1948 to Lutz Sr. and Tillie Schreiner. He resided at 433 Short St. in Lawrenceburg across from the Central School. He attended St. Lawrence thru the 5th grade and grades 6-8 at Central School. He graduated from LCHS in 1967. Bo had three sisters: Clare Jon, Jeanine and Mellonnie. Bo entered the United States Army on January 20, 1967 on his 19th birthday. He took basic training at Ft. Knox, KY and then went to Ft. Gordon, GA for AIT. He completed airborne training and Jump School at Ft. Benning, GA. He reported to Vietnam on July 19, 1967 and served with the 101st Airborne, the Screamin’ Eagles, in the 2/502nd Airborne Infantry and was wounded in action at Phu Bai, South Vietnam on Sept. 29, 1967 while on patrol when ambushed and hit by shrapnel from an exploding Viet Cong round. Bo was treated at the 3rd Army Field Hospital at Saigon for 30 days and then released to return to duty with the 101st Airborne. His Tour of Duty ended and he returned to the USA in July of 1968 to be assigned to Ft. Campbell, KY; Ft. Gordon, GA and Ft. Carson, CO. He was discharged in 1970 but only stayed out of the Army for six months and then re-enlisted in 1971. He served two tours in Germany and also served at Ft. Hood, TX and Ft. Bragg, NC. Bo retired as a staff sergeant (E-6) in 1988 after a 22 year career. Bo worked at Peerless Printing Co. in Lawrenceburg, Thatcher Glass, International Knife & Saw Co. in Erlanger, KY and Ford Lumber Co. in Madison, IN. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Sue (Evans) and they reside in Madison today and have been married for 31 years. Bo has two sons: Clayton and Jason Schreiner and step-sons; David Jones and Scott Franze. He has a step-daughter, Tamara Jones and four grandchildren. Bo is a Life Member of the Southeastern Indiana Vietnam Veterans of America Lary D. Fogle Chapter 71 in Aurora. He is a Life Member of the VFW and the National Purple Heart Association. He was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation with two oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Unit Citation, Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm, Vietnamese Presidential Unit Citation, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with four stars, Airborne wings, Combat Infantryman’s Badge (CIB), Purple Heart and Bronze Star with “V” for Valor. He was awarded an Expert shooting badge for the rifle. Today, Bo is very active and participates in activities with veterans. He spends many hours attending meetings, benefits, banquet, parades and many functions dealing with our veterans. He is always ther with a helping hand to assist a fellow veteran. He and Sue are True American Patriots who put our nation first. He has been to Washington, DC with local veterans on the annual trips they take. He was especially honored to be able to watch the Changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery and a wreath presentation. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial (WALL) also has a special place in his heart. He knows several of the 58,320 names on the WALL. He grew up with Lary Fogle and Tommy Denning and went to LCHS with them in Lawrenceburg.

Fred Lester

Fred Lester was born on May 21, 1948 and was the only child of Chester and Geneva Lester. His dad, Chester, was a World War II Veteran and went in on the second wave at Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944 at Normandy. Fred attended grade school at the old Westside Grade School in Aurora and Junior High at Northside. He graduated from Aurora High School in 1969. Fred entered the United States Army in 1969 and was discharged in 1971 as a PFC. He took his basic training at Ft. Dix, NJ and then went to Ft. Lewis, WA for his AIT. He was deployed to Vietnam in 1970-71 where he honorably served with the !st Cavalry at Bien Hoa, South Vietnam as well as Phuoc Vinh. Fred was wounded in action while engaged against the Viet Cong when they were ambushed and Fred sustained shrapnel wounds to his left arm. He was put on a Medevac Helicopter and sent to a hospital at Support Base Mace for three weeks to recover from his wounds. He was awarded the Purple Heart. Fred returned to the USA and was assigned to Ft. Benning, GA where he served in the 197th Infantry Honor Guard and conducted military funerals, holiday events, parades and other details. After his discharge he returned to Aurora. Fred went to work at Seagrams Distillery and eventually retired from Hillrom in Batesville. Fred joined the Indiana Guard Reserves and has served for 23 years. He holds the rank of Staff Sergeant (E-6). They meet one Saturday a month at different Armory facilities and one weekend per year at Camp Atterbury. They primarily serve when there is a state disaster. Fred was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, Meritorious Unit Citation, Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal with 60 device, Vietnam Service Medal with two campaign stars, Army Good Conduct Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Bronze Star with “V” for valor, two Army Commendation Medals with “V” for valor, the Air Medal and marksman badge for the M-14 and sharpshooter badge for the M-16. Fred is a member of the First Baptist Church of Aurora. He is currently serving his third term as a City Council member in Aurora and has served on many boards. Fred has two sons: Matt and Tony, along with four grandchildren, three boys and one girl. Fred is the Commander of the Southeastern Indiana Vietnam Veterans of America Lary D. Fogle Chapter 71 in Aurora and has been for 27 years. He is a Life Member of the VVA, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), VFW, Am Vets, National Purple Heart Association and the 40 & 8. He has been to Washington, DC with local veterans on their annual trip and enjoys seeing the memorials and monuments and especially the Changing of the Guard and wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Fred was one of the wreath presenters at the Tomb back in 2010. Fred Lester is a True American Hero, Combat Wounded Warrior and True American Patriot, who has served our nation and continues to serve today. He supports our troops serving today and our veterans. He prays for the safety of those serving today and for God to Bless the USA.

Walter "Ed" Shannon

Ed was born on October 19, 1948 in Milan, IN and grew up in Patriot, Indiana on the Ohio River. He spent much of his youth in a wooded flat bottom boat running fish nets and trout lines with his grandfather who sold the fish to the fish truck that came weekly. Ed graduated from Patriot High School in 1966. He was drafted into the United States Army in October of 1966 and completed basic training at Ft. Knox, KY. He went to Ft. Sill, OK for AIT for artillery training. He deployed to Vietnam in March 1967 and was based at Dau Tieng, South Vietnam with the 2nd of the 77th Artillery of the 25th Infantry Division. He was only in country for four days when his unit fought in the battle of Suoi Tre during Operation Junction City in Tay Ninh Province. This was a major battle where 647 enemy soldiers were killed, seven prisoners were captured and many weapons were captured. American losses were 38 KIA and 190 wounded. Ed returned to the USA in March 1968 and when he landed back home he was greeted by war protesters as soon as he got off the plane and that’s not a good memory. Ed is a Life Member of the Southeastern Indiana Vietnam Veterans of America Lary D. Fogle Chapter 71 in Aurora. He joined in 1994 and since 1997 he has been the Chapter 71 Treasurer and is very dedicated to that position. He serves with the Southeastern Indiana Honor Guard and helps present the colors, playing of Taps and honoring our departed comrades. He has the utmost respect for our veterans and fully supports those serving today. Ed was one of the four presenters of the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on the Vietnam Veterans trip in 2010. It was a very proud moment when he walked on that hallowed ground. Ed and his wife, Sandy, have been married for 52 years and have two daughters and five grandchildren. Ed is a great American Veteran and Patriot. He shows respect to all veterans and to our American Flag.

Marvin "Marty" Sizemore

Marty was born on February 14, 1950 to Lee and Louise Sizemore and was the second of five children. Three brothers: Dennis, Ray and Tim, along with sister, JoAnn. He attended Aurora and Manchester Elementary Schools and Aurora High School. He entered the Army in 1969 and completed Basic Training at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO. He was sent to Ft. Sill, OK for AIT. He returned home for two weeks and got married to his wife, Vickie, on May 22, 1970 and left shortly after that for Vietnam. Not much of a honeymoon. Marty said his tour in Vietnam was to say the least, different. He served in an Artillery Battery and was later sent to an infantry unit as an RTO (Radio Telephone Operator) and their life expectancy was very short as they became a favorite target. He served with the 25th Infantry Division at Xuan Loc and at Base Camp Frizell/Jones. It was not a very pleasant duty station in the hot, humid, very wet or very dry conditions of South Vietnam. Later on he was assigned as an operator and jeep driver after many months of almost unbearable conditions. He returned to the USA and to Ft. Riley, KS and was discharged in Sept. of 1971. He went to work at Aurora Casket on two different times and totaled nearly 35 years of service. Marty said he tried to not talk about Vietnam, except to his wife, until he joined the Southeastern Indiana Vietnam Veterans of America Lary D. Fogle Chapter 71 in 1986. He became the Secretary in the early 90’s and still holds that job today. He has been a faithful and dedicated member of Chapter 71 and especially for the Honor/Color Guard where he is the Sergeant of Arms at funeral details. Marty has been to Washington, DC with the veterans on one of their annual trips and in 2010 he was honored to be one of the wreath presenters at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. He has helped to pay tribute to hundreds of Vietnam Veterans thru the years at various functions. He credits his wife, Vickie, to all his successes over the past 50 years because of her love and support. She is always there to help in any way and especially with our veterans. He said she is the mother of our son, Gary, and she is the family ROCK. Marty was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, Meritorious Unit Citation, Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal and the Expert Shooting Badges for the M-14, M-16 and grenades. Marty is a very dedicated veteran to other veterans and our community. He is proud to have served and would gladly do it again, because he is a True American Patriot. Marty supports our veterans and our troops serving today.

 

 

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