The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

George Vereecke to receive Korea medal 2007.12.19

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

George Vereecke of Morenci clearly remembers his days of service near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Korea in 1958.

North Korean troops on one side of the 38th Parallel, Americans on the other.

“Every now and then they would come up to the 38th and face us with their artillery,” Vereecke said. “We only had a certain amount of time to get set up when we had that alert. It was scary at times. You never knew if they might come at you.”korea.def.front.jpg

Fortunately for him, that never happened during the 13 months that he served near the DMZ.

Since a cease-fire was signed July 19, 1953, more than 2 million members of the U.S. Armed Forces have served in Korea to maintain the peace.

Many of those veterans—Vereecke included—will be honored with a special campaign medal called the Korea Defense Service Medal.

“I was surprised that after 50 years we were getting the medal,” Vereecke said. “I thought we deserved something for it, but I was floored when I found out.”

How did he find out about the award? He happened to read a newspaper story about the medal. He doesn’t know if he would have learned of it otherwise, and he’s not sure if any other local veterans qualify for the award.

korea.def.back.jpgWhile the Korea War is sometimes known as “America’s forgotten war,” the subsequent years are depicted as “the forgotten cease-fire.”

Since the cease-fire began, an average of 40,000 troops have served every year in the Republic of Korea. Approximately 1,200 U.S. casualties have resulted from the more than 40,000 hostile incidents or breaches of the cease-fire.

Korean defense remains one of the official combat zones where U.S. military personnel serve.

Eligibility for the award includes at least one of four criteria within a particular geographical region of Korea:

• engaged in actual combat;

• wounded and required medical evacuation;

• participated as a regularly assigned air crew member;

• or served in operations and exercises.

The Department of Defense anticipates up to 600,000 requests for medals.

The Department of Defense announced Feb. 3, 2004, that the Korea Defense Service Medal would be issued. Vereecke was told in October that he should expect to receive the medal soon.

He’s still waiting, but after 50 years, he might as well have the patience for a few more months.

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