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

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • 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.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

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.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016