W E D N E S D A Y , J U L Y 2 0 , 2 0 0 5
• • • R E P O R T • • •
One over sixty numbered the Optimists present this morning.
The following guests were introduced: Roy Blake, Keith
Gorman, Lowell Landis and Jacie Smeltzer (Skip’s daughter).
Door greeting privileges were granted to Pete
O’Connell and Joe Wilkey. Past Distinguished President
Max Mock gave the morning prayer.
The “Birthdayees” for this week are Craig Allebach, In-
Coming President Mary Ellen Jordan, Al Meerzo, and Jeff
Owens. Song Leader Phil Eherenman attempted to lead
the song, but his instructions were too extensive, with the
result that the Club sang it spontaneously.
We were pleased to see Pinky Eherenman at the meeting
this morning. He wishes to thank the members for their
cards, prayers, etc. He requests that we still keep him in our
Phil Eherenman asks that we remind you that rehearsals of
the “Optimists Singers” occurs each Wednesday beginning at
6:00 a.m. Additional singers will be welcomed.
The Little League Tournament is in need of more assistants,
especially this weekend for two hour shifts. Craig
Nayrocker is in charge of securing volunteers for this and
President Ron Donkers announced that his First Lady, Pat,
will be overseeing the “Fun Raiser” which is a picnic sometime
during the third week in August. She needs three assistants,
and will give more information next week.
Past Distinguished President Ot Schroeder provided
opportunity for members to contribute $25 for the 4-H effort.
His son, Justin, is also President of the Junior Optimist Club
Andrew O’Connell reported that the monthly evening meal
will be served at Boys/Girls Club Tuesday, July 26.
Past Distinguished President Ot Schroeder inducted Tim
Hofer, who became interested in joining the Breakfast Optimists
by Don Reinholt. Tim is the owner of Nikken Wellness
Consultant. We are grateful, Tim, for your desire to become a part
in our efforts to serve the youth of our community.
Please pray for our Troops and Their Families:
R.J. Blackwell (Marines Recon)
Capt. Gregory Keele (Army-Iraq)
Brian Levert (Navy)
Eric Quehl (Marines-Iraq)
Jason Quehl (Marines)
Jon Quehl (Marines).
Sgts. at Arms Steve Hollar and Joe Thallemer collected a
few fines and Steve closed with a “Letterman” type Ten
Reasons Why We Like the Westminster.
July 27 – George Brennan – CASA
• • • R E P A S T • • •
President Donkers introduced Lowell Landis to share
some of his experiences as a light machine gunner in
General George S. Patton’s Third Army during World War II.
The speaker became attached to Patton’s Third Army as the
Battle of the Bulge was occurring and Patton was ordered to
turn his entire army around and head north to relieve the
siege. It seemed impossible to do this in three days with the
extreme winter weather, but Patton was successful. Landis
described how they breached the Siegried Line, the major
German fortification in the West. His descriptions of crossing
the Saar at flood stage and Rhine Rivers demonstrated the
bravery and ingenuity of the GI’s. He spoke of the experience
he had on a hill on February 28, 1945. He and his men were
ordered to take it, but when he tried to dig a foxhole, twice his
shovel hit solid rock. He prayed to the Lord, “If you save me,
I will do whatever you want me to do!” The third time his
shovel went into the ground, there was no rock! The crossing
of the Rhine is often described as a miracle. In the city of
Remagen, the main Ludendorff Bridge was ordered to be
destroyed, but the explosives were not successful. On March
4, 1945, 7,000 troops crossed at night. Landis says this
experience is as clear to him today as though it occurred yesterday.
At one point, Patton’s Third Army was seventy-five
miles behind the German line. It appeared that Patton was
positioning his army to capture Berlin. He was ordered not to
do so. When war ended on May 8, 1945, part of the Third
Army was in Czechoslovakia which again was where Patton
was not supposed to be. Landis responded to several questions.
He described the severe winter of 1944-1945. The soldiers
tried to change socks frequently, putting the ones
removed next to their bodies to warm them. Those who did
not do this suffered trench foot. In his division of 15,000+ only
25% survived. They discovered 60,000 gas shells, but gave
up their gas masks in France. Landis was awarded the
Bronze Star for bravery.
• • • R E F L E C T I O N • • •
“When we mourn soldiers who have died, let us thank God
that they lived.”
— General George S. Patton