for American Legion Post #142; Hominy, Oklahoma.
>>>by Gary Lanham
Well, Mother Nature had her say last week, cancelling our Thursday get together; but there are still things to share so here I go! We received good news from our local boy who has made Hominy proud. House Representative Sean Roberts arranged to have our Stars and Stripes, as well as the Oklahoma State flag, flown over the State Capitol. They now await a presentation to officers of our Post, 14 March at the State Capitol. The ceremony will include (at this time) Post Commander Jim Frazier and officers Charlie O’Leary, Babo, Steve Swinford, House Rep Sean Roberts, and Major General Rita Aragon (Ret.) who acts as Governor Mary Fallin’s Veteran’s Affairs Liaison. I would like to send a personal thanks to Sean’s assistant Blake Jackson, for working out the arrangements. You did great.
General Aragon served in the Oklahoma Air National Guard, and at one time as an enlisted soldier in the unit I retired from (219th Engineering Installation Squadron). I first met her as a mid-level enlisted guy and she was a Captain. I found her to be a warm and friendly officer, but there was no doubt steel was behind the velvet. She rose through the ranks by being indispensible, intelligent, and persevering. Through her years, she displayed masterful judgment, and strong leadership. Well, I guess that’s what it takes to reach the highest rank of any officer in the Oklahoma Guard family.
Shifting gears, a few weeks ago my great friend, patriot, and WWII veteran Dick Pope brought to my attention that during the Fairfax Veteran’s Day Parade, he and the gang were approached to see and participate in something rather remarkable. The “Freedom Truck” was participating in the parade and the owners were sure to include our boys in the activity of placing their signatures as veterans on a Chevy pickup truck (I am not kidding). From freedom boxes to flying the American flag, many people have found ways to show their patriotism, pride and support. Our boys met some Oklahomans who have found a unique way to honor those who serve, both past and present. Danny Eberle (truck owner) has always had a love for his country, and an appreciation for military men and women.
I found some information on the owners through the magic of the “Internet Highway” and wanted to post what they are doing. “There is no other country like this,” said Danny Eberle, Truck of Honor owner. There is likely no other tribute to our country quite like the one Eberle and his wife came up with. “We kind of looked at each other and said let’s do it,” said Jody Eberle, Truck of Honor owner. Along with his wife Jody, who he married 50 years ago on the 4th of July, Danny Eberle created the “Truck of Honor.”
“We’re just letting people sign our truck, that’s all,” said Jody. Their ’92 Chevy truck is a rolling tribute to men and women in the military. “They say Washington has its stone wall of veterans. But, I’ve got this old Chevrolet, and it is mine,” said Danny. It all started with a banner, but then the Eberle’s started letting people sign the truck. One right after the other, veterans, active duty military, and those with loved ones who served have signed the old truck. There are more than 1,200 signatures so far. Everywhere they go, more are added.
“These are all of our heroes on this truck,” said Danny. The Eberle’s say their Truck of Honor is a way to honor those heroes, their service and sacrifice. “It does my heart real good for them to come up and scratch their name on it,” said Danny.
“We just can’t show enough support and honor to our service people,” said Jody.
“As long as I can keep it going, it’s going to go. And when the old Chevrolet dies, we’re going to put it up on a pedestal in the front yard,” said Danny. The Eberles say as long as the truck runs and they don’t run out of space, they’ll keep adding more names. They’ll keep the tribute on the road and our military men and women in their hearts. The Eberles hope to find someone who is willing to put a clear coat on the old truck so the names don’t fade. (Thanks to Channel Six reporting)
As a veteran I think that is pretty cool. I remember no parades or applause for any of my brothers or sister in arms returning from Southeast Asia, or from Korea for that matter. Those were sad days, but I am sure my brothers at the Post feel as I do a sense of fulfillment when our country has come full circle even in times like these. The word that comes to my mind is gratification.
Our regular meetings are the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month at 1900 hours (7:00 PM) and our Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings over biscuits and gravy (or waffles) where we keep up on each other’s mischievous doings run generally from 7 am to 9 am if it “ain’t” freezing.