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Celebrating (and Honoring) Brightmore of Wilmington’s Veterans

The senior living community of Brightmore of Wilmington is a tight-knit one, where residents consider their neighbors friends and, more often than not, can be found enjoying each other’s company.  Our residents have many things in common, and this week we honored 65 men and women for their service to our nation. These individuals represent both military and civilians across all branches of service, protecting our country during times of peace and wartime.

On Veteran Day residents of all Brightmore of Wilmington communities came together to honor those who so selflessly sacrificed to protect our freedoms during a special reception.  Joined by staff from Home Instead Senior Care, all veterans were presented with a pin for their service. Phil Bruschi, a retired professor from UNC Wilmington, was also on hand to help honor these individuals and led a discussion about the history of patriotic songs.

Memories of Service

Commons resident John King served as a Navigator in the Air Force during World War II.  Despite being wounded in Germany, his wife recalls his time in the service as one of the highlights of his life.

Another Commons resident Helen Shull served as a nurse in the Army at a base in Wisconsin, where she helped American and Japanese soldiers injured during WWII.

Bill Parr, a resident of The Kempton Assisted Living at Brightmore served as a tail gunner for the Marine Air Core and had to lay on is stomach to shoot and couldn’t wear a parachute.

Leroy Marshburn, a resident of The Kempton, served as a Corporal within the Army.  After peace was declared during World War II he spent part of his service in Japan helping to restore peace and make it safe for all.

Veterans Residing at The Brightmore of Wilmington:

Hank Bredeck – Army PFC
David Buis – 82nd Airborne/Army Paratrooper – Staff Sgt.
Robert Butler – Army PFC
Felix Cooper – Army Staff Sgt./Reserves as 2nd Lt.
Ken Cummings – Marines PFC
Tom Edwards – Navy Lt.
Bill Faris – Army Reserves Staff Sgt.
Charles Gaeta – Air Force Private
Barbara Gardner – Navy WWII Storekeeper 1st Class
Tommy Garner – Navy
Bill Lowe – Army Private E-4
George Lucht – Infantry Army 1st Lt.
Gene McLeod – Army Korean War, as Maintenance Officer of a Combat Engineer Group, with the rank of First Lieutenant
Lee Messner – Army Sgt. In Charge of Anti-Aircraft & Tank
Hazel Mu – Navy Nurse
Jack Ormond – Army PFC 13th Airborne Div. & 11th Airborne Div. (Japan)
Rex Overlin – Marines Sgt. Major 1942-1966
LeRoof “Bud” Poythress – Navy, Chief Warrant Officer
James Rinier – Army Agricore
Walter Sheffield – Air force Pilot Major 1941-1945 (In Pearl Harbor)
Elbert Thomas Townsend – Army Sgt. & Air force Major – Weather Forecaster and Navigator
Gale Wendle – Army Infantry PFC & T-5
John Wheeler, Jr.-Army
Charles Wilbur-Navy
Marion Beisler– Cadet Nurse
Robert Cook–Marines
Frank O’Brien–Army Sergeant WWII
John Solano– Air Force Chaplain
Robert Weeks – Navy

Veterans Residing at The Kempton at Brightmore Assisted Living:

Graham Drew – Air Force Sergeant
Bill Parr – Marine Air Core
Eileen Cummings – Navy Nurse
Leroy Marshburn – Army Corporal
Dr. William Rippy – Army (World War II) and Navy (Korean War)
Grace Sharkey – WAVES, Lieutenant.

Veterans Residing at The Kempton at Brightmore:

Myrtle Bergeman – Army Sergeant
Dot Cushing – Air Force Corporal
Bob Damarodas – Air Force First Lieutenant
Jim Fairfull – Royal Air Force Leading Air Craftsman
Herb Fox – Army Private First Class
Ben Glisson – Navy Sailor
Everett Gourlay –  Navy Seals/Underwater Demolition Team
Anne Gourville – Army Medical Corps/Nurse
John Gourville – Air Force and Army Corporal
Bobby James – Navy Signaler
Walter Johnson – Air Force Private First Class
Fred Little – Air Force Ground Crew
Orrin Macy – Army Sergeant
Irene Montreuil – Navy
Victor Olson – Army Sergeant
Harold Peabody – Air Force Navigator
Vince Ricciardi – Army Private First Class
Helen Shull – Army 2nd Lieutenant
San Slack -Army Lieutenant
Charlie Smith – Army 82nd Airborne/Paratrooper Ranger Co. Staff Sgt.
Harry Smith – Navy ET1
Margrette Townsend – Air Force Corporal
Charlene Travitsky – Army Lieutenant
Fulton Tucker – Army Military Police
Piggy Weyers – Army Corporal
Al Wingfield – Navy 2nd Class
Les Meredith – Army Private
Hagan Draughn – Navy Metal Smith 1st class Petty Officer
Joe Shae – Navy Petty Officer 2nd class