Five World War II Veterans, pictured from the left, are: Bush White, Bobby Lischkge, Frank Savage, Bob Savage and George Klopp.

Veterans take trip to visit state war memorial

A group of 50 Southeastern Indiana veterans were able to take a bus trip Oct. 23, to Indianapolis to visit the War Memorial.

The bus was chartered from Crown Charter in Lawrenceburg with the help of Justin Moore. The trip was financed by the Korean War Veterans Association Chapter 4 in Aurora and its Commander Elvin Newmann.

They also paid for the supper at the Golden Corral in Shelbyville. Many on the trip also serve with local Color Guards.

“The War Memorial is just a beautiful place and Indiana should be proud of this gem,” said P.G. Gentrup, Rising Sun. He is a Lawrenceburg Consolidated High School graduate and Vietnam War veteran.

They also went out on the plaza and visited the Vietnam War Memorial with the names engraved on it of the ones from Indiana who died in Vietnam.

On one area of the Vietnam Memorial there is an engraving of a portion of a letter from Lary D. Fogle to his dad before he went to Vietnam. The letter reads:

Fort Gordon, GA 1965
Dear Dad,
Pop, if I do go into combat, I intend on doing my job to the best of my ability. However, I don’t intend on being a Hero. I might be wrong but in my way of thinking, the only Heroes there are, are the men who get killed in the process of doing their job.
Love always,
Lary
Lary D. Fogle was Killed in Action Dec. 20, 1965

“Lary was a classmate of mine at Lawrenceburg Consolidated High School and I will never forget him. Lary’s sister, Terrie, and her daughter, April Lutterbeck, went on the trip with us and they had never been to this monument to see Lary’s name or the letter engraved there,” said Gentrup.

Just a few years ago, they went with Gentrup to Washington, D.C. with Lary’s brother, Tommy, who is now deceased, to see Lary’s name on the Vietnam Memorial Wall for the first time, he said.

The group, while in Indianapolis, also visited the Korean War Memorial and the World War II Memorial, located on the plaza in front of the War Memorial.

The fountain on the plaza was still operating.

In the Memorial, one of the highlights is the section dedicated to Indiana’s only living recipient of the Medal of Honor, SFC Sammy Davis, said Gentrup.

“Sammy is a good friend and has been here to Southeastern Indiana several times helping with events and visiting area schools,” he said.

On the way to Indy, the group stopped at the National Guard Armory at Shelbyville to see the helicopters.

“There are several Black Hawk Helicopters at the facility and Major Scott Oden and SFC Steve Caldwell were very gracious hosts for our visit. They opened the doors for us and made us very welcome as they explained their operations and the story of the Black Hawks,” said Gentrup.

They had just received some new choppers and estimated the cost of each one to be between $13 to $15 million depending on the equipment, he said.
“We were in awe of these magnificent flying machines and what they can do. We weren’t able to fly in one but got into the seats where the pilots sit and you can just imagine the power they control,” said Gentrup.

The trip included five World War II veterans: Frank Savage age 97, Bob Savage, 94, Bobby Lischkge, 92, Bush White, 93, and George Klopp, 92.

“Bobby Lischkge jumped right up on the step and sat in the seat of the Black Hawk easier than most of us did. It’s just a great day when you get to visit with these members of the Greatest Generation,” said Gentrup.

They also went out to see an old Huey Helicopter from the Vietnam War.

“Jerry Eckerle was a crew chief and rode in and worked on many Huey helicopters in Vietnam and he was excited to see one up close again,” said Gentrup.

There is an effort underway to find one for the Aurora riverfront for the city’s bicentennial next year and putting it on a pedestal that makes it look like it’s coming in for a landing, he said.

“Everybody had a great time and the veterans really enjoyed getting together with other veterans,” said Gentrup.

Join Vietnam Veterans
Meanwhile, the Vietnam Veterans Chapter 71 is always looking for new members. Become a Life Member for only $100. There will be a meal in December for members and a guest at Rising Star Casino.

“It’s free for members so you get half your money back right away,” said Gentrup.

The Color Guard also is always needing members to keep numbers up so when final respect is paid to a departed veteran, there are sufficient numbers to make it respectable, he said.

“It’s an honor we all take seriously and we are honored and proud to do it,” said Gentrup.

Contact any member of the Vietnam Veterans or call 513- 602-5595 to get signed up. There are currently 110 life members in the VVA Chapter 71.