Sun. Dec 3rd, 2023

Although rain fell throughout northern Blair County yesterday morning, it wasn’t enough to stop hundreds of northern Blair County residents from offering their respects to the many service men and women who died for this county.
The day was highlighted with the American Legion Honor Guard parading down the middle of 15th Street from Oak Grove Cemetery to the post home, following a fire volley and salute. There were cheers from onlookers as the small corps marched through the rain and light breeze to the community’s Memorial Day Service, which was moved indoors because of the weather.
The attendance at the service at the Legion was overwhelming as the room was filled with veterans, family members and the public in support of all veterans past and present.
The welcome was given by Legion Commander Steve Sellers.
The National Anthem was sung by TAHS student Alicia Rodriguez. Following the pledge to the Flag, led by Bill Geist, Rev. Talbot-Moses of the First English Lutheran Church gave the invocation,
Nick Leasure gave the Gettysburg Address followed by the G.A.R. presentation by Commander Sellers, 1st Commander of the American Legion; 2nd Commander Charles Boyd and 3rd Commander Harry Bennett of the VFW and Legion Chaplain Sue Wheland.
Wreaths were presented by VFW Auxiliary President Alice Ewing and Mary Dickson, chaplain.
Also from the Legion Auxiliary, Jean Nein, president, and Lou Shirk, chaplain, were present.
Wreaths were also placed by John Eirich of the fire police; William Phillips, exalted ruler of the Elks; and Aaron Parks of the Sons of the American Legion.
David Kaup sang a patriotic song followed by the main address by Sgt. Tami Weiser of the 629 Transportation Co., U.S.A.R., Clearfield.
She has served five years and has served in Iraq and Kuwait.
After arriving at Camp Wolf, Kuwait on Easter Sunday in 2003, Weiser moved on to Camp Pennsylvania which became her first home overseas. Her transportation company then moved on to Mosul, Tikrit, Balad and many other Iraqi cities that are now in turmoil, she said.
Later they were moved to Camp Victoria in Kuwait, near the Ali Al Salam Air Base, where they ran missions in the Sustainer Push.
Weiser said her unit handled everything from food to parts. Later her company was moved to Camp Anaconda, Iraq located at Balad Air Base.
“From there we ran smaller missions to BIAP where some of us got to see the inside of Saddam’s Private hospital. It has marble everywere,” she said.
They also saw the Department of Defense building that was destroyed at the beginning of the war.
Finally in late April of this year, Weiser was heading back to Kuwait where her company was to leave shortly for home.
“We are so thankful that the 629th Transportation Company brought home every soldier they took over and we were never in combat situation,” she concluded.
PFC Philip McNeal of Tipton who served three years in the Army with service in Afganastan and Iraqi was discharged Feb. 19 of this year and is now serving in the Reserves. He also spoke at the ceremony.
A graduate of Bellwood-Antis High School, class of 1999, he and Sgt. Weiser, who graduated a year later at BAHS were good friends. They shared in their experiences following the service.
Taps was played by Chip Dillon.
Memorial Services were also held in the Baughman and Bald Eagle cemeteries as the Honor Guard paid tributed to the area’s deceased veterans of all wars.

By Rick