Posted: Wednesday, November 18, 2015 12:00 am
It was an evening of remembering and reminiscing as members of the 24th and 1267th Medical Companies of the Nebraska National Guard gathered in Seward.
The Nebraska National Guard Museum hosted the event which commemorated the 25th anniversary of the call up for Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1990. Support staff and volunteers who assisted in the mobilization in 1990 were also honored.
The event included Posting of the Colors, special speaker Brigadier Gen. Scott Gronewold, Remember the Fallen and Retiring of the Colors. Nebraska State Sen. Mark Kolterman and Seward Mayor Josh Eickmeier both spoke at the event.
Gronewold spoke about the evening and what it meant to him.
“These are the people that taught me how to fly. I was just a young lieutenant and they’re the ones who mentored me, showed me what life looked like and I owe a lot to them, not only for what they did but also for what they did for me,” he said. “It’s awesome. It’s just great. When you fly with these crews, they are closer than your own family because you rely on them as a team to stay alive. You become very close and over the years, you lose touch and when you see them again, it’s just like you flew with them yesterday. That bond is still there. They are a great group of people.”
Greg Whisler with Whisler Aviation in Seward helped arrange the transport of a Utility Helicopter (UH-1) for the event. The helicopter was moved from the Seward Airport to the museum with a police escort on Highway 15 earlier in the day.
Col. Gerald Meyer said it was the largest gathering of Desert Storm veterans in the state since the war ended in 1991.
“The museum is proud to have sponsored the reunion of 24th and 1267th Medical company veterans and family and friends for the event. We also had veterans that supported the mobilization in 1990 that attended. It was truly a great event and we are honored to have sponsored the event,” Meyer said.
Meyer thanked the people who helped make the event a success including Ron Burhoop, Greg and Terri Whisler and Ryan, Cody Cade, Deb Tankesley and Bonnie Besseler, Ken Meyer, Beautiful Feet Mission from Concordia University and Bottle Rocket Brewery.
The museum was able to handle over 125 veterans and their families for the event.
“We were able to give the veterans a first-class program and allow them to socialize. It was a great success,” Meyer said.