The annual Memorial Day Observance hosted by the Dubois County Veteran Council consisting of all Veteran Organizations of Dubois County will be held Saturday, May 28th at the Veterans Monument Park located at 310 East 14th Street Huntingburg beginning at 10:00 am. This observance normally held at the Dubois County Veterans Memorial at the courthouse in downtown Jasper is being moved for the safety of the public due to the construction being done in downtown Jasper. Everyone is invited to attend. The Jasper Park and Recreation will provide portable bleachers but those in attendance are welcome to bring lawn chairs if they so desire. Parking is available on the lot south of the Veteran’s Memorial.
The American Flag will be lowered to Half Staff by members of the Marine Corp League.
Kent Schreiner, President of the Dubois County Veterans Council, will be the master of ceremonies. Connie Guimond, Chaplain of the Ferdinand American Legion Post 124 Auxiliary will give an opening prayer and benediction. Steve Schwinghamer, Mayor of Huntingburg will welcome everyone to this event in Huntingburg. Susan Bramlet will be welcomed as our new Veterans County Service Officer.
Steve Bartels from the American Legion Riders Post 147Jasper will remember our Missing In Action with the POW/MIA Ritual and Dan Hollinden from Navy Club Ship #90 will remember Sailors who gave the ultimate sacrifice on the seas.
Our guest speaker for this year’s event is Colonel John Topper.
John Topper enlisted in the Army in June 1959, attaining the rank of sergeant. He has commissioned an Infantry second lieutenant from Officer Candidate School, Fort Benning, Georgia in October 1964, retiring at the rank of colonel in September 1993 from Fort McPherson, Georgia.
He is a combat veteran of Vietnam; a veteran of the Cold War (Europe) and the first Persian Gulf War. He served eight years in overseas assignments
He is the recipient of the Combat Infantryman’s Badge; Expert Infantryman’s Badge; Legion of Merit with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Star Medal for Valor, and Oak Leaf Cluster; the Purple Heart, eleven other decorations, and several service awards. He was inducted into the Infantry OCS Hall of Fame at Fort Benning, Georgia in 1987. He is the Honorary Colonel of the 50th Infantry Regiment, Ft Benning, GA. He became an Army Reserve Ambassador in 2010 where he received the US Army Superior Civilian Award upon retirement in 2017. He lives with his wife, the former Janet Pfingston of Newburgh, Indiana, in Santa Claus, Indiana; they have five children and fifteen grandchildren
This year’s deceased Veteran to be honored is Norbert Milton Schreiner who was born June 6, 1919, in Ferdinand, IN, the youngest of three boys and three girls to Paul and Amelia (Altmeyer) Schreiner. After graduating from Huntingburg High School in the late 1930s, he secured a position as a meat cutter at Schuler Packing CO. in Ferdinand. In 1941, Norbert enlisted in the US Army where he graduated from Officer Candidate School and was assigned to an artillery unit. On June 19, 1943 Norbert married Cyrilla Senninger at Ft. Sill, OK. Norbert was a battalion field artillery officer in the Philippines during WWII and was discharged from active-duty Jan. 1946. Joining the National Guard after his active duty and rising to the rank of Captain he was the Commanding Officer of the 152nd Battalion in Jasper from 1953-to 1959. Captain Schreiner retired from the National Guard in 1961. Norbert played semi-pro baseball for the Ferdinand Cardinals and several other local teams. He and his friend James Verkamp operated Schreiner &Verkamp Grocery Store for many years.
Norbert and his brother, Sylvester, along with Veteran friends Herb Fleck and Alvin Jochem founded the American Legion Post #124 Ferdinand in 1946. Norbert served as Post Commander for the first two years of its existence.
Norbert’s first wife Cyrilla passed away on Nov. 29, 1960. He married Rita Weyer in 1972 who passed away on July 21, 2003. After being afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease for many years Norbert passed away on Nov. 29th, 1995 the same calendar day that Cyrilla had passed. Norbert had four children Glenda Nelson, Mary Ruhe-Nord, Kent and Norbert L Schreiner. He also had five stepchildren, including Rick Angel and Brenda Seufert.
All Veterans who have died since last Memorial Day will be remembered and saluted by a 21 Gun Salute from an Honor Guard made up of members of the Veterans Organizations of Dubois County. Taps will be played by State Senator Mark Messmer of Jasper. John C. Smith from the Huntingburg Volunteer Fire Department will play Amazing Grace with his bagpipes. The pa system along with a melody of patriotic songs is being provided by Mike and Doris Klem.
A luncheon will be provided by Huntingburg VFW Post 2366 for the family and friends of Norbert Schreiner and for those participating in this year’s event. In case of inclement weather, all events will take place at Huntingburg VFW Post 2366 located at 314 N Geiger Street.