December 17, 2012
WEST PITTSTON -- On Sunday, 44 members of the West Wyoming American Legion Morning Star Post 904 met to continue a tradition.
It was the fourth year of gathering to honor their members and families at the dinner for veterans' widows.
Veterans from World War II and the conflicts in Korea, Vietnam and other later military operations were in attendance at Agolino's Restaurant.
George Yurek, event organizer and one of only four veterans of World War II remaining at Post 904, said whenever he meets with the other members it always brings back a lot of memories.
The post membership voted to start the formal annual dinners so the members could get together and share their memories and camaraderie, he said.
Yurek earned a Bronze Star for acts of heroism during the war while in the South Pacific. He talked about how he was there for Gen. Douglass MacArthur's arrival.
Other veterans of that war include Sally Mulesky and Dan Chipago, who were in attendance at the dinner, and Armand Casagrande, who could not attend because of an illness.
The legion members get together at these dinners not only to honor the members who are alive but also to honor the widows and family members of those who aren't around anymore, Yurek said.
He said he would never talk about his time in the military until his children started asking questions. He decided he did not want an important part of his history to die away and became more active in organizing events at the post where members could get together and share memories.
Ron Semanski, the post's sergeant at arms, said representatives from all military branches were in attendance at the dinner.
He added this year's dinner was the first one to include a tribute to those who served in Vietnam and ended up as either prisoners of war or missing in action (POW/MIA).
We're letting their family members know they will never be forgotten, Semanski said.
Post Commander Jerome Domkowski said about 78 veterans fill the ranks at the West Wyoming post. New members are welcome, he added.
The most important aspect the members share at the legion is the camaraderie, Domkowski stressed. Veterans from all branches and all conflicts share a certain bond that lasts a lifetime, he said.
People in the military understand that more than anybody, he said.