Salute to Steuben's Veteran Jack G.

November 11, 2016

As seen in The Leader

For Steuben's Center resident Jack G., who served as a U.S. Army Zone Sgt. in Germany during the time of the Korean War and the start of the Cold War, Veterans Day means a lot.

Jack, 88, a native of Tupper Lake, near Lake Placid, who moved to the Bath area with his family in the mid-60’s and currently lives at Centers, can still recall vivid details about his time in the service.

“In May of 1951, we went to Germany as a unit for the defense of freedom,” Jack said. “The Russians had already shot down a couple of American airplanes.”

Jack, who served in Germany from 1951-52 was among 18,000 troops in Germany keeping an eye on the spread of communism from nearby Russia.

“War was teetering back then,” Jack said. “I’ll never forget that and I’m glad it gets remembered on Veterans Day. It means a lot to a lot of people.”

For 90 years, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month has been a remembrance of those who served America in time of war.

A veteran is a man or woman who worked in the American military, honored on Veterans Day each year with national and local meetings, parades, and other programs to recognize their contributions.

Jack said German residents were happy the U.S. Army units arrived.

“The threat of World War III was looming,” Jack said. “They were scared of what the Russians might do. Luckily nothing ended up happening.”

Upon Jack’s return to the U.S., he became a patrol officer who made sergeant in Batavia and later moved to the Bath area in 1964. He served as a state trooper for 29 years before retiring in the 1990s.

Jack was married to his wife, who recently passed, had five children and nine grandchildren.

The Veterans Day event was made after World War I was known at the time as "The Great War."

The ending of World War I fighting between the Allied Nations and Germany was celebrated at 11 a.m., November 11, 1918.

November 11, 1918 is generally known as The End of the War to End All Wars. The day originally became known as "Armistice Day."

After World War II and the Korean War, Congress passed the bill that President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed in 1954 proclaiming November 11th as Veterans Day to honor veterans of all wars.

In 1975, President Gerald Ford signed a law returning the official celebration to its original date of November 11th beginning in 1978.

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