Cannon Rivers Senior Living features a new and improved Wall of Honor as Veterans Day approaches. The Wall of Honor recognizes residents and family members of residents who served in the military and holds pictures of more than 25 people.
The display used to be inside the dining area at the center, but in September it was revamped and moved out to the hall next to the dining area. The center first started the Wall of Honor about two years ago. Many of those residents who are on the wall or have family on it gathered to take a picture with the new memorial and to talk about serving their country.
Oscar Quittem served in the Air Force from 1950 to 1954 and was stationed in North Africa for a year and a half, specifically French Morocco and the Sahara Desert.
“It was pretty hot at times, we would have to quit flying about 11 o’clock in the morning, the air got so thin it wasn’t good for flying,” he said.
After returning to the United States, Quittem was stationed on Long Island for another year and a half.
Donald Woodward also was in the Air Force for three years but stayed local (Minneapolis) during his service.
“I was very fortunate, very fortunate, I was born in Minnesota and I stayed in Minnesota,” he said about his time in his fighter squadron. “They all went to Greenland, my dad had just been killed in a car accident, so the captain said ‘you’re staying here with your mother’. So I stayed right here the whole time, I was very fortunate.”
Woodward met his wife and got married during that time. After leaving the service, he went studied at the University of Minnesota.
Howard Hunt served for just shy of a decade in the Navy as an aviation electronics technician. He spent time aboard an aircraft carrier and was stationed in the Philippines, which included a stop in Hong Kong.
“When I was on the aircraft carrier, I’m not a very big person, and we would have what’s called a ‘hellhole’ on the airplane where you would go up in and that’s where all the electronics were,” he said about being an aviation electronics technician. “You had to be small to crawl up there, so I always got stuck doing that. I crawled up in the hellhole and pulled all the electronics gear down and handed it to the big guys who were down below.”
Jerome Judge was in the merchant marines during World War II when his religion literally saved his life. His wife, Marguerite Judge, said that at one point he was aboard a large supply ship that became stranded in Japanese waters with dwindling supplies. When a smaller ship met up with them to resupply, there was a priest on board who offered to hold a Mass in the morning.
“My husband and maybe three or four others went over, went to Mass, and while they were at Mass, the Japanese bombed the ship (the big supply ship) and everybody was gone except those four who went to Mass,” Marguerite said. “My kids never had an excuse to get out of going to Mass.”