VALPARAISO | U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky pledged to continue his support of veterans and their families, as well as those who currently serve in the armed forces during the Valparaiso Rotary Club’s 15th annual Veterans Day program.
Speaking to a crowd of civil servants, business leaders, community leaders, students, veterans and Rotary members at Strongbow Inn on Monday, Visclosky recognized one of those veterans — the Rev. John Wolf, who served as a chaplain in the Navy in World War II.
“We acknowledge his service in World War II and the creation of this program 15 years ago, and his contributions to our community throughout his life,” said Visclosky who presented Wolf with a flag.
Visclosky also said that there are about 1.4 million people who serve in the armed forces today, including 200,000 women. He urged members of the military to have “respect for each other.”
“We owe a great debt and burden to the veterans who return home,” he said, noting that the rectory of his former parochial school in the Glen Park neighborhood of Gary, St. Mark’s, serves as a homeless shelter for veterans. He vowed to continue to make sure support services are made available to veterans and their families.
Valparaiso Rotary President Ron Bush welcomed the crowd and recognized the numerous veterans in the audience, including those who fought in the Battle of the Bulge.
The Valparaiso High School band performed patriotic songs and the Culver Academy Color Guard presented the flag before the singing of the national anthem and Pledge of Allegiance.
Wolf also spoke during the program and led the group in a musical introduction of each of the five branches of armed forces before sharing a few of his own memories and recognition of his fellow war chaplains.
“The objective for any day like this is to not have any more wars,” Wolf said.