As they remember comrades in arms who have passed away, members of Ahwatukee American Legion Post 34 also will be remembering fellow members who passed away in the last year – or, as the Legionnaires put it, “transferred to Post Everlasting.
• Arthur Fairbanks. Mr. Fairbanks, 94, the son of a World War I veteran, enlisted in the Army Air Corps while still a senior at St. Mary’s High School in Phoenix, leaving for boot camp within days after graduation. He was assigned to the 815th Bombardment Squadron of the 15th Air Force in Italy as a flight engineer.
• Robert Wayne Enns. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Mr. Enns, 81, enlisted in 1957 after moving to the U.S. from Canada. He was a combat engineer until 1960, when he was released from active duty and transferred to the Marine Corps Reserve in Kansas City and then to Camp Pendleton, California, with the 1st Marine Division until he was honorably discharged in 1963 with the rank of Corporal E-4.
• Col. Alfred Alvarez. Retired Air Force Col. Alfred Alvarez was a Vietnam veteran.
• Anthony Wiersch. Mr. Wiersch, 78, was a Vietnam era veteran of the U.S. Navy.
• Edward Meyers. Mr. Meyers was a World War II Army veteran, serving in an artillery unit in the Philippines and Okinawa.
• Janice Langley-Smith. Mrs. Langley-Smith, 83, served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, having enlisted after receiving her nursing degree in 1957. She served seven years and was one of the first nurses to serve on the USS Antietam aircraft carrier.
• Dr. Raymond Brandt. Dr. Brandt was a World War II Army veteran.
• Edward Wilner. Mr. Wilner, who celebrated his 100th birthday with the Post 64 members before he passed, was a World War II Army veteran.
• Albert L. Sipek. Mr. Sipek, 97, was a World War II Navy veteran.
• James Mooney. Mr. Mooney joined the U.S. Navy in 1954 and was stationed aboard the USS Rankin for four years as a radioman and teletype operator. He also played trumpet for many basic training events.
In recalling these men and women, Post 64 Chaplain Rebecca Schmidt said, “Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, with reverence and love we pause to pay tribute to our honored and valiant departed comrades. Grant that we may ever be mindful to their service to God and country and of our comradeship with them in the ranks of the American Legion.
“Hallow their graves; give courage and comfort to those having suffered the loss of a loved one. Grant eternal rest of their ashes and peace and happiness to their souls. Keep them until the hour of final Revile, on that day when they are called before the Divine Commander. May all of these men and women be present and accounted for. May their souls and the souls of all departed veterans rest in peace. Amen.”