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"Military Uniforms of Our Neighbors"


The museum's "Military Uniforms of Our Neighbors" exhibit was dedicated on Saturday, August 6, 2011, in ceremonies that took place on the front lawn of the museum.  David Nadolsky, Past-President of the museum, served as Master of Ceremonies.  The keynote speaker for the event was Circuit Judge Donald McLennan, a veteran of the Vietnam War.  The Invocation was given by Father David Greka, a retired Army chaplain.  Mayor Beach Hall presented a resolution from the City Council declaring August 6 as "Veterans Appreciation Day" in Rogers City.  Hall served in the Army during the Korean War.  The resolution was accepted on behalf of the museum by Mark Thompson, the museum's Executive Director and a Vietnam War veteran.  Members of Posen VFW Post 7804, Rogers City Post 607, and the Rogers City Servicemen's Club provided a color guard and honor guard for the event.  Taps was played by Navy veteran Robert Centala, who also led those gathered in singing the "Star Spangled Banner."  World War II veteran Ervin Mertz cut the ribbon to officially open the exhibit.  Mertz, at 99 years of age, is the oldest veteran in the county.  Approximately 200 people attended the ceremony.

The uniform on the left was worn in Iraq by Captain Casey Viegelahn of Rogers City.  The uniform on the right was worn by Sergeant First Class Keri Karsten of Moltke, who recently retired from the Army after 20 years of service.  These are the newest of the 27 uniforms in the exhibit.  The oldest is a uniform worn by Lewis Kroesch of Rogers City in the Spanish-American War of 1898.  A replica Union Army uniform from the Civil War also represents the uniform that would have been worn by John Kauffman of Presque Isle, believed to have been the only resident of the county to volunteer for service in the Civil War.

The uniform exhibit totally fills the former dining room of the Bradley House.  Along with the uniforms are displays of military memorabilia and decorations from the personal collections of the late Walter Poch and Richard Santimo, both of whom saw extensive action in the European Theater during World War II, and Mark Thompson, a Vietnam veteran.

The uniforms in the collection were worn during wartime by the following county residents:

 Casey Viegelahn, Marine Corps, Iraq War

Keri Karsten, Army, War in Afghanistan

Lewis Kroesch, Army, Spanish-American War of 1898

Milton Hoffer, Army, World War I

Joseph Micketti, Navy, World War II

Carl Schaedig, Army, World War II

Gene Heinzel, Marine Corps, World War II

Walter Karsten, U.S. Merchant Marine, World War II

Clarence Eldridge, Army, World War II

Rev. Frederick Steen, Army, World War II

David Budnik, Army, World War II

Robert Yerks, Navy, World War II and Korean War

Earl Bey, Air Force, Korean War and Vietnam War

Douglas Richards, Army, Korean War

Cecile Bunner, Women's Army Corps, Korean War

Duane Haneckow, Army, Vietnam War and Gulf Wars

Bruce Beckeney, Navy, Vietnam War

Ronald Horrocks, Army, Vietnam War

David Grulke, Navy, Vietnam War

Nathan Ryan, Iraq War

Jeff Plath, Army, Vietnam War

Tim Plath, Navy, Vietnam War

Emil "Moe" Plath, Jr., Navy, World War II

Alice Plath Pines, Women's Army Corps, World War II

Isadore "Bud" Pines, Army, World War II




Webmaster  Rich Warwick