OSWEGO – St. Luke Health Services marked this Veterans’ Day by extending thanks for the sacrifices our veterans have made and continue to make in the service of our country. Four residents gathered to mark the day and to reflect on their service.
Three residents, Gene Himes, Norman Smith and Francis North saw duty in separate branches of the military. A fourth, Vivian Wardhaugh was dedicated to helping ensure veterans received the rights and recognition they deserved when returning home.
Himes of Oswego entered the US Army in February of 1942. During World War ll Staff Sergeant Himes saw action from D-Day to the end of the war. He was twice awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat while fighting in Europe with the Fourth Division of the First Army.
Fulton native Smith was one of five brothers who served in the Second World War. Smith enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and served in the North Atlantic before assignment in the South Pacific Theater. Smith was stationed aboard PT 367 the “Spirit of 76”, seeing action with the Seventh Fleet, including taking part in the landings on Corregidor Island in the Philippines.
North served in the United State Air Force from 1948 before retiring from the service in 1957. The Oswego native served as a Mess Sargent, and met his future wife Dolores Vericat while stationed in England.
Wardhaugh, whose husband Oliver served in both the Army and Marines for nine years including combat during World War ll, is the past president of the Women’s VFW Auxiliary Post 569 in Fulton, a position she proudly held for many years.
St. Luke honored all veterans with special entertainment and a tribute marking the national day of observance.