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Saluting Our War Heroes

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Saluting Our War Heroes

At a time when peace, love and flower power were taking root in young people in the 1960s, Daniel M. Perlinger said he was an angry young man. "And that's putting it mildly," the 69-year-old combat Marine added. At 16 years old from South Buffalo, he signed up for the Marine Corps knowing it would be his ticket to Vietnam. He says he did not know much about life at t…

Saluting Our War Heroes

When the Cold War was heating up with fear of a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union, many Americans had constructed backyard bomb shelters in the hopes of surviving. Bob M. Manke, who grew up in Kenmore, shared those same worries of possible nuclear annihilation, but from a different vantage point. He was at the bottom of the Earth living in bu…

History

A conversation about women's role in military forces will is scheduled for 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Buffalo History Museum. Women from the Niagara Falls International Airport Air Reserve Station, American Gold Star Mothers and Veterans One-stop Center of WNY will share their experiences. Discussion points will include the role of women in active duty, especially…

Saluting Our War Heroes

When George M. Morreale turned 18 on Dec. 7, 1943, he registered at the local draft board at Walnut Avenue and Sixth Street in Niagara Falls. Morreale was a student at Trott Vocational High School, where he was learning how to become a draftsman. He was certain the military would summon him to duty after he graduated in June 1944. But Uncle Sam surprised the aspiring…

Saluting Our War Heroes

When Joseph R. Burgio was drafted into the Navy for service in World War II, his mother objected. Joseph was the youngest of nine children and three of his five brothers already were in the military. Carmela Burgio and her ailing husband, Ignatius, were in their 70s and depended on Joseph's paycheck from Bell Aircraft. The mother felt her family already was making a …

Saluting Our War Heroes

Michael T. Daniels operated a heart and lung machine as surgeons performed open-heart surgeries. Not everyone possesses the mettle to be right in the middle of such intense work, but Daniels watched the skilled hands of the surgeons with admiration. As a Navy corpsman, his own hands had helped saved the lives of wounded Marines in Vietnam. He also knew the other side…

Saluting Our War Heroes

At 16 years old, Clayton F. Eldridge was more interested in making money than getting an education. So he quit McKinley High School in 1943 and worked as a welder at Curtiss Wright aircraft factory on Vulcan Street. "I made about $22 a week and spent it on clothes and entertainment," the 91-year-old Eldridge said. But money took a back seat to patriotism when he t…

Saluting Our War Heroes

Sometimes the way a person walks is enough to inspire another person to follow in the same footsteps. That was the case for Edward B. "Andy" Enterline. As a boy growing up in a Pennsylvania coal town, he would watch his Uncle Harv, who had served in the Marine Corps, walk with military bearing on his way to jobs at people's homes. His uncle had quit working in the mi…

Saluting Our War Heroes

Bob Fahey dreamed of becoming an officer in the Navy. As a teenager during World War II, he studied photographs of naval ships battling Japan in the Pacific Ocean. He wanted to be part of the sea assault action. But by the time he was accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1946, the war was over. However, he ultimately would not be disappointed. The Korean War began w…

Local News

Henrica R. Kiernan surprised her parents when she was born. They were so certain that their second child would be a boy that they had picked out the name Henry. But when she was born on Sept. 4, 1921, her Polish immigrant parents who made their home in Sloan quickly changed the intended name to the feminine version – Henrica. Twenty-one years later, Henry and Loui…

Saluting Our War Heroes

The Rev. Eugene L. Pierce can tell you about his time in the Army with Elvis Presley. They were drafted and ended up in the same unit for basic training at Fort Hood, Texas. Pierce can tell you how young women would drive to the fort in search of the pop star. But Pierce says that in deference to February being Black History Month, he would rather talk about a famous…

Saluting Our War Heroes

Since Justin Roehner was a boy, he had wanted to serve in the military. As a teenager watching the war on terror unfold on the family's television in their Town of Tonawanda home, Roehner's resolve increased. "The events of Sept. 11, 2001, were obviously a major driving force. I would see the war correspondents in Iraq and the night-vision footage of tracers and the …

Local News

While other classmates at Frontier Central High School were considering applying to colleges, 17-year-old Karen A. Schultz Chapman was thinking about the military. "I knew I wanted to get out of Buffalo and see the world," Schultz Chapman said of what motivated her to meet with military recruiters in her senior year back in 1985. At home in Hamburg, her parents were …

Saluting Our War Heroes

Dennis Seekins lacked certainty on what he wanted to do in life, but knew he needed an education if he was going to have a chance at success. So rather than wait to be drafted into the military like some of his friends who also had graduated from Medina High School, Seekins enlisted in the Air Force after the recruiter made a tempting offer. He promised Seekins a ful…