Archive for November, 2015

Veterans Day 2015

Posted: November 11, 2015 in Uncategorized

It is easy, in everyday life, to forget about our fathers and uncles and grandfathers who fought in WWII. That’s why we need days of remembrance like today to remind us of their gift to us.

Many of the men of the 111th spent five long years preparing for, serving in, and cleaning up after that awful war. And yet few of them ever talked about it afterwards, as most of us know. They knew what they as a nation had accomplished and they were proud. But then they continued on, so that we, their children, could enjoy our everyday lives.

We have talked recently with two of our four survivors, Art Brooks and John Raisler. Art just turned 98, and John is 95. Both are living in Florida and doing well. John told me something I hadn’t heard before. He described how even with a war going on, every job the 111th did required a work order. He recalled one time when he had to climb into a foxhole to get a signature on one. At the end of the war, the 111th received a special commendation from the Army: the unit had completed more work orders than any other ordnance company during the war. They were a hard-working bunch. “The men always stuck together, it was a good outfit,” John recalls. “I’ll always remember them.”

And yesterday we were thrilled to hear from the granddaughter of a 111th soldier whose family we had been unable to find in our searches of the past two years. Tess Stanhaus wrote to this blog to tell us how glad she was to find the story of her grandfather, Lavergne Stanhaus of New Baden, Illinois. He was the mess sergeant for the 111th throughout the war. John Raisler remembers him well—“a nice guy, very friendly, would always stop to talk to you.” Tess sent this photo along; she thinks it might have been a wedding photo.

Lavergne Stanhaus and his bride Pearl

Lavergne Stanhaus and his bride, Pearl