2017 Veterans’ Breakfast
Although not everyone in attendance could stand, more than 100 veterans were in strong unison as they recited the Pledge of Allegiance during the opening moments of the Veterans’ Breakfast held on Friday, November 10, in the auditorium at the Pine Run Community Center. Emotions were quick to surface as Ceil Krajewski, director of life enrichment in the Village, honored all of the freedom fighters in her introductory
remarks and then played a video highlighting the Tour of Honor to Washington, DC. The music and images underscored the connectedness of veterans and their families across the nation being celebrated for their noble efforts to defend our country.
Mabel and Bob Billings, married 70 years, were in attendance at the spirited affair. They both served in the navy during World War II. Mabel was stationed in New York City at the Navy Armed Guard Center, and Bob was sent to the Pacific theater, so their romance flourished through letters. After the war ended, they were married at the Little Church Around the Corner in
Manhatten. They saved a seat at their table for Isabelle Ramm, another WAVE who served first at Quonset Point Naval Air Station on Rhode Island and then in Miami, Florida. “We took the Honor Tour in 2016 and we’d like to do it again,” said Mabel. “We had a wonderful couple taking care of us during the trip – a career Marine and his wife from Media – and we keep in touch via email. I’m trying to convince Isabelle to come
along for the experience in 2018.”
Larry Glass, a veteran of the Korean War, also expressed a zest for joining the Bucks County Honor Tour in 2018. “I’ve been to the memorials, but never with all of the escorts, and the clip we viewed this morning gave me chills – good memories of my four years in the Signal Corps. I was lucky to have been a skier, and my company was sent to Alaska. I’ll never forget when my Master Sergeant at Fort Lewis said, ‘Glass, have you ever worked a film library?’ I lived in a Quonset hut from
1950-1952 next to a telephone exchange. When war broke out with Korea all classified film of the action passed through me for training purposes and secure storage in Alaska. Today, Fort Greely, Alaska is a United States Army launch site for anti-ballistic missiles, and it also happens to be where my son Cliff is based.”
Jim Kain was a seaman in the Navy for six years, first aboard the U.S.S. Pennsylvania in the South Pacific from 1945-46, and then he was shipped to the North Atlantic on a mine sweeper. Jim, one of 10 children reared in Kensington, learned to work with his hands in the service. After attending Spring Garden Institute on the G.I. Bill,
he became a mechanic for the Pennsylvania Gas Company, and he built his own home. Jim, age 90, reflected on some surprising merits of his military training and discipline, adding, “My fingers learned to work well on ships, and instruments too; I spent 20 years as a Mummer, and I am currently learning to play the guitar.”
Veterans of the Vietnam War and the Gulf War were also represented at the event. A commemorative
booklet with photographs of all honorees and accompanying accolades was distributed to all guests, along with caps and scarves to add a bit of fanfare to the occasion. Several Pine Run associates were proud to join the ranks of celebrants: Brent Appel, Senior Airman E4 from 1983-87; Phil Long, Army Staff (SPEC5) from 1966-69; and Kim Ray, Army Staff (SP4) from 1978-80.
A hearty breakfast featuring the Army favorite creamed chipped beef on toast was deployed with military precision. The tasty provisions also included scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, fruit salad, and a variety of muffins. Associates from all corners of Pine Run’s campus, along with an enthusiastic contingent from Pine Run Lakeview, circulated among the tables to assist with seating arrangements and to offer pours of steaming hot coffee.
The walls of the auditorium were thoughtfully covered with youthful photographs of the veterans and their stories of courage, hope, and luck. The compelling images and a colorful display of war memorabilia served as a platform to stimulate discussions throughout the room.
“Today was a feast for the senses,” declared Ceil Krajewski. “The camaraderie and pride we celebrate at this annual event helps perpetuate the honor our veterans should feel every day.”
Veterans’ benefits are available at Pine Run for U.S. veterans or the surviving spouses of a veteran. If eligible, you could receive a federal pension of anywhere from $1,000 to over $2,000 per month to help pay for personal care monthly fees.