The first World War ended precisely on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918. In 1919, that day was proclaimed Armistice Day by Woodrow Wilson. It was made a holiday again by Calvin Coolidge in 1926, and finally made an annual holiday in 1938. It became Veterans Day in 1954, when the celebration was expanded to celebrate the service of all veterans of all wars. In 1971, it went along with all other holidays designed to make a three day vacation, to be celebrated on the 4th Monday in October. Finally, in 1978, it was reinstated to always be celebrated on November 11th (with the exception of when it falls on a weekend, as far as federal holidays go).
But owing to the 59+ year tradition of meeting on Fridays, Lakewood Rotary celebrated a bit early. It all started with the recognition of all branches of our military services in song, the Invocation by Bob Peterson, then a splendid "Star Spangled Banner" by Morris Northcutt and President Chris Kimball, and of course the quote of the week from the "Magic Christian Soundtrack" by Badfinger. Badfinger was the first group signed to the Beatles' Apple Records, and had several hits, the first of which was "Come and Get It", produced and written by Sir Paul McCartney. Lyrics for "Carry On Tomorow", read by Chris:
And when the heavy journey's done, I'll rest my weary head
For the world and it's colours will be mine
For my life's too short for waiting when I see the setting sun
Then I know again that I must carry on
Helping: Jim Weinand on the Paul Harris desk, Tom Crabill as Sgt. at Arms, Duncan Cook on setup, Eric Quinn as photographer, and Troy Wilcox doing audio/video. In addition to last week’s collections, Jim collected $1,652.00 for the Foundation. Wow!
There were no visiting Rotarians.
Guests: Ed Shannon: our speaker's wife, Melanie Reeder, and Ed's wife, Jayne; Bud Montgomery: Chris; Greg Horn: Marshall; Jim Bisceglia: Bob; Jim Weinand: Byron; Jim Rooks: Dr. Eric; Duncan Cook: James; Sam Hunter: Mike; and Troy Wilcox: Pete. (Sorry for missing all the last names, but hoping I got the first names correct. My wife says my hearing is going, but I'm sure it was just the acoustics of the room.)
Rotarian Spotlight:  Judy Hosea recounted her early beginnings as half Norwegian and a relatively unimportant half Swedish upbringing in Sitka, AK, followed by school in Federal Way where she excelled at slo-pitch, diving and art. Off to WSU, where she worked on perfecting the art of great wine by using Welches grape juice and a balloon. She was an Alaska Airlines flight attendant in hot pants for three years, then on to McMinnville, OR, where she married and had two girls. Judy then went back to Federal Way with the girls only, and did work in art supply sales, and then a travel agency. She became the first woman in Tacoma #8 on 6/18/87, Rotarian of the Year in 1992, and President of #8 in 1995. She married Tom on 10/6/94 in the Virgin Islands, using a plastic ring and a cigar band for the required finger ornaments. After selling her agency, it was on to fundraising, and 12 years and counting at the Boys & Girls Club. Her life highlights are three, in no particular order: 1. Joining Rotary; 2. Her kids; and 3. Tom. And she intends to live happily ever after.
Procurements and Fines: Mick Johnson donated two tickets to the Huskies vs. Utah game, and Bill Allen gave $20. Jim Rooks paid $100 for a religious pilgrimage, told a story about a purloined military jacket, and suggested all attend the meeting of December 11 for a fabulous speaker presentation. Jean  Pierre "Ole" Magnuson got lost on his expedition to the home country, and ended up in France for a fabulous river cruise, wine and a trip to Normandy, worth $20. Morris Northcutt took the whole family to Spain with the Tacoma Concert Band, and coughed up $100. Don Daniels had trips to New Orleans, Mississippi, and an upcoming Rotary trip with Mark Blanchard to Ecuador, worth $20.
“The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.” —Patrick Henry
Program: Ed Shannon, resplendent in his military uniform, introduced our speaker, Colonel William (Bill) S. Reeder, Jr., US Army, retired. Bill has numerous commendations, including but not ending with: 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 3 Bronze Stars, 3 Purple Hearts, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, 1977 Army Aviator of the Year, and he is a 2014 inductee into the U.S. Army Aviation Hall of Fame. He told of his second tour in Vietnam, when his helicopter was shot down on May 9, 1972. He suffered a broken back, an ankle gun wound, and numerous lacerations. He spent three days attempting a 40-mile journey back to base, mostly crawling, when he was captured by the North Vietnamese. After three days of torture and interrogation, he was placed with a number of south Vietnamese soldiers in a bamboo cage, with men dying virtually every day due to deprivation. Eventually, a forced march of 3 months duration to Hanoi ensued, with six more deaths including the only other American. He spent the better part of a year in Hanoi before his release on March 27, 1973. Bill expressed his great love of being an American, and his appreciation of our freedom. Thanks to men like Bill, and many more of our Rotarian friends, we have the luxury of enjoying our freedom without the horror suffered by Bill. 
Bill has just finished a book on this subject, "Through the Valley: My Captivity in Vietnam", on hardcover April 15, 2016. He has accepted an offer to bring a stack of books with him to a future Rotary meeting to sign them. The book is available for pre-order at $29.95 on Amazon:
“Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” —Winston Churchill
American War Deaths:
American Revolutionary War                      25,000  (.9% of the population)
War of 1812                                                        15,000
Mexican American War                                 13,283
Civil War                                                               750,000   (2.3% of the population)
World War I                                                        116,516
World War II                                                       405,399  (.3% of the population)
Korean War                                                        36,516
Vietnam War                                                     58,209
Iraq/Afghanistan                                                 6,717
From 1935 through 1941 Ernie Pyle traveled throughout the United States, writing about rural towns and their inhabitants. After the U.S. entered World War II he lent the same distinctive, folksy style to his war-time reports, first from the home front, and later from the European and Pacific theatres. He was killed by enemy fire on Lejima during the Battle of Okinawa. At the time of his death he was among the best-known American war correspondents. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1944 for his spare, poignant accounts of "dogface" infantry soldiers from a first-person perspective. "No man in this war has so well told the story of the American fighting man as American fighting men wanted it told," wrote Harry Truman. "He deserves the gratitude of all his countrymen."
And to all veterans: our gratitude.
And finally, the drawing: Troy Wilcox was going for $401, and got $5.00.