The Ladies Auxiliary Unit of the American Legion Post 198 recognized and honored Osage veterans Bill A. Mashunkashey Sr. and Bob Ward for their service during World War II.
Both men were invited to an impromptu May 10 honoring dinner held for them at the Senior Circle housing complex in Pawhuska. Mashunkashey served in the U.S. Army and Ward served in the U.S. Navy during wartime in which the United States was at battle overseas on both its east and west sides.
The Ladies Auxiliary and American Legion Post members honored area veterans who served during battle, with the WWII veterans getting preference for honors first. “It’s an ongoing activity,” said John Henry Mashunkashey, a Vietnam War veteran and member of the American Legion Post. Mashunkashey is also a son of Bill Mashunkashey.
Journalist Tom Brokaw dubbed the World War II generation as “The Greatest Generation” in his book by the same name. This generation of people include those who grew up during the Great Depression before starting adulthood when the United States entered WWII battles in the Pacific and European counties.
According to the WWII Museum Web site, those survivors who served and fought during WWII are in their 80s and 90s today. The museum and Veterans Administration estimate WWII veterans are dying at the rate of 740 per day.
Of the “Greatest Generation,” Mashunkashey said those who lived during that time were described as such “because they were winners.”
Both Mashunkashey and Ward were awarded written awards recognizing and thanking them for their “faithful service” and received applause from the 30-plus people who attended the honor event. Each man expressed thanks and gratitude for the honors.
To view more photos from the honoring event, visit the Osage News Flickr page online where a photo set has been created at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/osagenews/sets/72157629866683822/