Veterans Health


A VVA Program

If you served during one or more
of these periods of war and have any of the highlighted diseases, you may be eligible for compensation, benefits
and health care.

Vietnam War

Persian Gulf War

Global War on Terror



On this page:

• Special Wreath Ceremony for 70th Anniversary of VBOB

• Home for Veterans is a Dream Come True

• Boynton Veterans Council Unveils Monument to 

Battle of the Bulge Veterans

• VBOB 70th Anniversary Gala, December 2014

• Veterans' Day Parades 2014

~ Lake Worth and West Palm Beach ~

• Combat Infantrymen's Assn. Hold Fall Luncheon

• Returning Honor Flight WWII Veterans, Oct. 24th at P.B.I.A.

• Boynton Veterans Council Dedicate Two Markers 

Honoring 911 Victims

• American Veterans Awarded French Legion Medal of Honor

• FSO 9th Annual "A Day to Remember"

Memorial Day 2014

• VBOB Spring Luncheon April 27, 2014

~ "The Kiss" (photo)

~ "The Cake" (photo)

~ Korean War Veterans at VBOB luncheon

~ Monument honoring VBOB planned for Boynton Beach Veterans Park

• Fla SE Chapter of the 

Combat Infantrymens Association Spring Luncheon

• VBOB Donates TV to Faith, Hope, Love, Charity

• VBOB Christmas Luncheon 2013

• Veterans' Day Parades, Lake Worth & West Palm Beach

• Forgotten Soldiers Outreach Opens Furniture Thrift Annex

• Stand Down House holds 13th annual picnic

• Memorial Day 2013 Activities

• VBOB Spring Meeting April 21, 2013

CIA Forms new chapter

• Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge Luncheon Dec. 16, 2012

• Wreath Laying Ceremony at 

Riviera Beach Coast Guard Station, Dec. 15, 2012

• Attention Korean War Veterans

• Veterans Day Weekend, November 10 & 11, 2012

Parades in Lakes Worth and West Palm Beach

• Honor Flight article

Memorial Day Events, May 28, 2012

• Nam Knights Motorcycle Club's 14th Annual Rock 'n Roll Sunday


• Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge Florida SE Chpt. (62):

~ Spring Luncheon held, Sun., April 15th 2012 ~

POW Pledge of Allegiance,  

submitted by Murray Stein, P.Pres. 106th Div.

• Gen. Carlson's speech at the April 2003 VBOB meeting

• "What is a Veteran?" submitted by Jimmy Walker, C.I.A. Cdr.

• Korean War Memorial Unveiled on 60th Anniversary

• A Visit to Omaha Beach

• Helping Homeless Veterans - Stand Down House, Lake Worth

 • Veterans' Organizations Directory 


Last Updated 03/10/2015

Battle of the Bulge - 70th Anniversary of Victory Special Wreath Ceremony

Photo by Jimmy Shirley

George Fisher, Joe Petrucci, Bob Erskine, Mort Brooks, 

and Murray Stein are pictured with the memorial.

The Boynton Veterans’ Council paid tribute to nearly 89,000 casualties and some 19,000 service members who sacrificed their lives during the Battle of the Bulge, the greatest battle in WWII history. On Sunday, January 25, 2015, following a brief ceremony to remember the their losses, flowers were placed at the newly unveiled Battle of the Bulge Monument.

Tom Kaiser offered words of welcome to those in attendance before leaving to celebrate his 87th birthday with his family. George Fisher, Pres., FVBOB gave the keynote speech, Murray Stein, 106th Division gave the address and recited the POW Pledge of Allegiance.

The Rifle Squad, A..L. Post 164 fired a salute and Buglers played TAPS. Benediction was offered by Stu Preston, L.O.H.FVBOB.

The weather was perfect!

Home for Veterans is a 

Dream Come True

Photos by Milton Williams

Ron Klein/Former U.S. Congressman, Roy Foster/Founder FHLC, Sgt. Brian Mast/Army Special Forces


Roy Foster knows what it’s like to serve his country, to struggle to readjust to civilian life and to drift from place to place with no where to call home. Those experiences led the army veteran to envision a place where homeless veterans could get help and have their hope restored.

This Veteran’s Day, Foster’s dream became a reality as the non profit he founded, Faith*Hope*Love*Charity Inc., broke ground on a housing complex for veterans and their families.

"Village of Valor" will be the first Palm Beach County community designed specifically for veterans and their families who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of becoming homeless. The $26 million complex will be built on nearly 13 acres of land along 2nd Ave North in Lake Worth.

"This is not about the buildings, it’s about the service and how we are going to re-establish the bond and pride that we carried in the armed services," said Foster. "What’s going to take place inside Village of Valor, that’s the power of it all."

"Village of Valor" will be designed like a small town including a coffee shop, dining facility, library, club house, playgrounds, resort style pool, walking trails, fitness center, community garden, and a fenced dog park. The 140 units will include apartments and town homes.

Like its sister program Stand Down House, which serves male veterans, "Village of Valor" will provide an integrated approach to ending veteran homelessness. Residents will receive vocational and financial training as well as health, nutrition, and fitness support.

Navy veteran Steven Sullivan went to Stand Down House in 2011 after he lost his job and was evicted from his apartment. Sullivan says having other veterans in the program helped him succeed, "we were all going through the same thing and had been through the same things in our time of service."

Construction on "Village of Valor" is expected to be completed in May of 2016, with full occupancy by Veterans Day 2016. The night before the first shovel hit the dirt, Roy Foster camped out on the empty lot. He said he wanted to be the first veteran to sleep on the property that will "put an end to homelessness in Palm Beach County for our veterans."


Boynton Veterans Council Unveils Monument to Battle of the Bulge Veterans

On December 16, 2014, Boynton Veterans Council unveiled a monument to VBOB Veterans in a ceremony at Boynton Veterans' Park. Pictured with the monument are George Fisher, Joseph Petrucci and Bob Erskine.


Photo by Jimmy Shirley

VBOB Hold 70th Anniversary Gala

December 14, 2014

Photos by Jimmy Shirley

Rep.Ted Deutch, George Fisher, pres./founder of the chapter and Charlene Szabo, Dir., VA West Palm Beach.

Don Fox, author of "Patton’s Vanguard" with Joseph "Jiggs" Petrucci and Jim Simone, both of Boundbrook Condominiums in Palm Springs.

By Betty Thomas

On Sunday, December 14, 2014, Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge met at the Embassy Suites Hotel in West Palm Beach to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of that bloodiest of all battles of WWII. There were over 163 good folks in attendance.

Keynote speaker was Don M. Fox, author of "Patton’s Vanguard" a book that documents in detail, the events that took place from Dec. 16th. His presentation was followed by the Weather Channel’s documentary video "When Weather Makes History."

The joint meeting includes members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart #717 and members of the Combat Infantrymen’s Assn as well as wives, children and guests.


Veterans' Day Parades 2014

Photos by Betty Thomas

Lake Worth

Saturday, Nov. 8

West Palm Beach

Sunday, Nov. 9

Joseph "Jiggs" Petrucci and George Fisher, Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge

Jerry Klein, Vietnam Veterans of America Past Pres; Jeri Muoio, Mayor of West Palm Beach; Grand Marshal Brian Mast, U.S. Special Ops., retired, double amputee

American Legion Cdr. Bob Rehberg (left) and 1st. V. Cdr. Warren E. O'Brien

Women Veterans of South Florida: Maxine Bodman, WWII W.S.Army; 

Joy Teter, VietNam, U.S. Navy, and 

Joy's husband David Caesar 

-- all from Cypress Lakes

Beth Wolfe of Lake Worth and "Dude"

Grand Marshall Brian Mast 

and David Knapp, parade organizer

Combat Infantrymen's Association hold Fall Luncheon/Meeting

Photos by Jimmy Shirley

George Fisher, CIA president and co-founder with 

Lt. Gen. Robert D. Chelberg (ret) of Wounded Warriors of So. Florida.

C.I.A. founding members, l-r: 

Muriel Berkman, Annette Fisher and Connie Roth.

By Betty Thomas

The Combat Infantrymen’s Association (C.I.A) held their first meeting for the fall season on Friday, October 24th at the Embassy Suites Hotel with 25 members and guests in attendance.

Guest speaker for the afternoon was Lt. General (U.S. Army Retired) Robert D. Chelberg who presented a detailed summary of the War on Terror beginning with the attack on the World Trade Center in New York September 11, 2001, to the present day.

Chelberg graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. with a BS degree in 1961. Later in his military career he earned an MBA degree from New Mexico State University. He is a member of the Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. He has held numerous positions in the U.S. Army during his 32 year career.

General Chelberg retired on July 31, 1992 and assumed the duties of the Deputy Director of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies. He and his wife, Victoria, reside in West Palm Beach, FL. General Chelberg currently serves as a Senior Advisor to the defense firm TASC, Inc., and as a Board Member for the Wounded Warriors of South Florida.

Wounded Warriors of South Florida (WWofSF) assists returning disabled veterans and their families. They provide immediate emergency financial assistance to wounded veterans by giving stored value cards for food, gas and essentials to VA Post Deployment Teams at the VA Hospitals and Clinics in Miami, West Palm Beach, Cape Coral, Tampa, Viera and St. Petersburg. The case managers, at their discretion and depending on need distribute the funds to their patients. The goal of WWofSF is to provide at least $2,500 per month to each facility. They hope to increase the number of VA facilities they work with.

The VA Post Deployment Teams also refer wounded veterans in dire straits that need assistance with the payment of their rent, utility bills, vehicle repairs, insurance, loans and other emergency needs as well as home repairs and furniture, critical financial assistance given that once a Wounded Warrior is discharged from active duty due to a disability, he/she has little income, little money and often no job. It can take up to two years for their disability payments to begin due to the current VA backlog.

Wounded Warriors of South Florida is a 501(c)3 non-profit charity. More than 85% of all donated funds go directly to serving eligible disabled veterans from Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn. Areas of current operation include Brevard County south to the Florida Keys, west to the Tampa Bay area, and south to Marco Island.

Wounded Warriors of South Florida is located at 1335 Old Dixie Hwy., Suite 3, Lake Park, FL 33403. For more information or to donate funds, services or your time to Wounded Warriors of South Florida, please contact them at (561) 855-4207; fax (561) 444-3255; e-mail to Their website is

For information about the Combat Infantrymen’s Association, contact George Fisher at (561) 585-7086 or e-mail him at


Returning Honor Flight WWII Veterans Oct. 24, 2014, at P.B.I.A.

Photos by Jimmy Shirley

By Betty Thomas

Returning Honor Flight WWII veterans were greeted by a highly charged "welcoming committee" of family, friends, patriotic citizens, organizations, children of all ages, scouts, students, color guards, Knights of Columbus, Palm Beach Pipe and Drum Corps, West Palm Beach Fire Department contingency, and more. 

Top: children rush to give hugs to one of the veterans; 

Above: the crowds line both sides of the path. 

There were some 80 veterans, 80 chaperones - some of them veterans themselves, and others accompanying the group. It was an all day event. The flight left early in the morning and arrived at 8pm at night. The veterans said it was a fantastic day -- "It was like this all day." One chaperone, a young veteran, said his face was hurting from smiling all day. Another WWII veteran noted that, "After 70 years ...", his voice trailing, amazement written all over his face. The preparations that many of the young people and children undertook for this event was moving. Many had created signs to hold for the veterans to see, many had dressed in patriotic colors, cheerleaders chanted and waved their pom-poms. And plenty of flags. 

Boynton Veterans Council Dedicate Two Markers Honoring 911 Victims

Story and photos by Jimmy Shirley

The two memorial stones are on either side of the 9-11 Memorial during a Special 9-11 Recognition Ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014 at 11 AM. The stone on the left is for Fr. Mychal F. Judge, victim #0001, and the one on the right for Joseph Holland.

Tom Kaiser introduces George Fisher, founder and president of the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge (VBOB) local chapter. The Boynton Veterans Council will be dedicating a monument for the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge at Veterans Memorial Park on December 16th of this year.

l-r, Murray Stein and George Fisher. Stein was a POW during WW-2 and is a member of the VBOB.

A somber ceremony was held on Thursday, 11 September 2014 at Veterans Memorial Park in Boynton Beach, Fla. to honor two victims of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. The Master of Ceremony was Tom Kaiser, a WWII naval veteran who is the chairman of city’s veterans council.

The very smoothly run ceremony honored two men who had local connections: Joe Holland III, the son of Joseph and Terry Holland of Boynton Beach, and Reverend Mychal Judge, close friend of Bill and Lynn O’Donnell also of Boynton Beach.

There were several speakers solemnizing on that day which, to quote Franklin D. Roosevelt, was "a date which will live in infamy." Several spoke of the necessity to teach new and succeeding American generations about 9/11 because they have been born since. One such speaker cited some tens of million Americans have been born since that horrible day.

In attendance were two readers of the Condo News: Murray Stein and George Fisher, both of whom are also members of the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge.

The 9/11 memorial monument, with two smaller stones with the names of the two victims on either side, is situated betwixt the two memorial monuments dedicated to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which is entirely appropriate. Also, attached to the monument is a iron piece of the fallen twin towers.

Veterans Memorial Park is located at 411 North Federal Highway, Boynton Beach, Fla. 33435, approximately 1/8th mile north of Boynton Boulevard on the west side of the road.

The Boynton Veterans Council and Philippe Létrilliart, Consul General, Republic of France present The Legion of Honor Medal to America's Veterans

Photo by Jimmy Shirley

Legion of Honor Medal Recipients: 

Seated, l-r: Earl R. Burkhart, Harold Baiman, John T. Cullen, 

Marco Damiano, Leonard R. Elmaleh, Reuben Fried, Arthur Gallob, Leonard Goldner, Donald B. Goldsmith’s widow and Charles Winn; Standing, l-r: Edward W. Horn, Leonard M. Katz, Robert Metzger, Charles Poladian, Robert E. Waterman, Nathan Shaul, 

Not pictured-David Goldstein.

Also, (far right standing) Philippe Létrilliart, Consul General and 

Tom Kaiser, American Legion Post 164.

Tom Kaiser



Photo by Jimmy Shirley

Description of the Insignia


Since its inception, the medal consists of a five-armed "Maltese Asterisk" enameled in white, joined with branches of laurel and oak:

At the center of the star, there is a medallion representing:

• On the front side, the symbol of the Republic with the inscription "Républiquefrançaise"

• On the other side, a flag and a banner intertwining one another 

with the circular inscription "Honneur et patrie"

The ribbon is in red moiré silk.

Photo by Jimmy Shirley

By Betty Thomas

In Florida, each year the Consulate General of France in Miami organizes ceremonies to recognize WWII American veterans. WWII American veterans who fought on the French soil receive the highest French recognition: the Legion of Honor Medal. On Thursday, July 17, 2014, at the Boynton Beach Civic Center, the Boynton Beach Veterans’ Council conducted a moving ceremony for the presentation of the medals to 18 "Chevaliers de la Lé d’Honneur" (Knights of Honor), the title bestowed upon medal recipients. The ceremony consisted of films and patriotic songs by Steve Gilbert and John Criscione on piano. Conducting the proceedings was Tom Kaiser, USN WW2, Am. Legion post 164. Kaiser is also a Legion of Honor medal recipient. Although he did not fight on French soil, the medal can also be awarded to individuals who have been deemed outstanding in helping the French government and veterans. A letter to Mr. Kaiser from the Consul General in June 2011 said, "I would like to congratulate you most sincerely for this high esteem, which comes as a recognition of your professional and personal achievements, your role in veterans recognition as well as in the local community." The letter went on to say, "I also would like to take the opportunity of our coming Bastille Day event on July 14th (2011) to ... receive officially the medal on this highly symbolic occasion ..." Thursday, the medals were presented to the 17 recipients who were present (Irving Kaplan was not present) by Consul General Philippe Létrilliart. Following are details about the medal...

History of the Medal:

The French Legion of Honor ... The Highest French Distinction

The French Legion of Honor was created to reward eminent military and civil merits in the service of France. It is the highest distinction that can be conferred in France on a French citizen as well as on a foreigner.


Napoléon Bonaparte, First Consul of the First Republic, first established the French Legion of Honor in 1802.

Grades and Ranks

The Legion of Honor is divided into five degrees as follows:

• Three ranks: Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), Commandeur (Commander)

• Two dignities: Grand Officier (Grand Officer) and Grand Croix (Grand Cross)

Organization of the Order

The President of the French Republic is the Grand Master of the Order and appoints all other members of the Order — by convention, on the advice of the Government. Its principal officers are the Chancellor and Secretary-General.

A chancery and a council of the order manage the order. They are located in Paris. In the United States, the American Society of the French Legion of Honor, Inc., that gathers all the recipients of the award, is presided by The American Society of the French Legion of Honor, Inc., 740 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10021.

Upon presentation of their military file as detailed hereunder, US veterans who risked their lives during World War II to fight on French territory, may be awarded this distinction. Those selected are appointed to the rank of Knight of the Legion of Honor. The Legion of Honor medal is not awarded posthumously.

To be eligible to this outstanding award, the veteran has to fit strict criteria:

• Interested veterans of all the different armed forces must have fought in at least one of the 4 main campaigns of the Liberation of France: Normandy, Provence, Ardennes or Northern France. Actions having taken place in Belgium, Germany, Italy or any other neighboring European country are not taken into consideration.

• Interested veterans must provide a file with the documents below:

- Honorable Discharge paper, military separation order of DD Form-214

- Citations for previous military awards such as the Silver Medal, the Bronze Medal, the Purple Heart Medal or higher distinctions, indicating meritorious actions during combat operations.

- Military records mentioning their mission(s) on the French soil before May 8th, 1945

- A small paragraph explaining their mission(s) on the French soil before May 8th, 1945

- The form "Proposal Memory" completed in block letters and printed legible

- A copy of their ID (and an authentication of name change, if applicable).

• Interested veterans must send the complete file to:

Service des Légions,

Consulate General of France in Miami

Espirito Santo Plaza, suite 1050

1395 Brickell Ave., Miami FL 33131

The decision to honor WWII combatants applies only to living veterans who served on French Territory and in French territorial waters and airspace in 1944-1945. The Legion d/Honneur will not be awarded posthumously.

The review of applications for the highest French distinction may take several months.


Forgotten Soldiers Outreach

9th Annual "A Day to Remember" 

Memorial Day 2014

Photos by Betty Thomas

George Fisher, president/founder of the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge Local Chapter readies to present the VBOB wreath.

Col. Banna Ghioto (ret) was one of the dignitaries at the FSO Memorial Day ceremonies. Ghioto is 97 years old.

By Betty Thomas

On Monday, Mary 26, 2014, Forgotten Soldiers Outreach and Palm Beach Memorial Park held their 9th annual "A Day To Remember", featuring Wreath Presentation by 20 patriotic organizations. Master of Ceremonies this year was Jim Sacket, former WPTV Channel 5 news anchor.

The Massing of Colors was presented by the P.B.Co. Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard; Boynton Beach Fire Dept. Honor Guard, JROTC units from 4 local high schools, Boca Delray Sea Cadets, Boy Scouts of America Troop 395 and Cub Scouts of America Pack 241.

The New Young Patriots performed "Tribute to the Fallen Soldier", "Here’s to the Heroes" and an Armed Services Medley.

Keynote speaker was Sgt. 1st Class Ahmand R. Brown, U.S. Southern Command. The National Anthem was performed by JD Danner; Invocation by Father David Kennedy; POW/MIA Ceremony by Bill Arcuri: Benediction by Reverend Rick Riccardi; Rifle Salute by PBSO’s Honor Guard and a unique rendition of "Taps" played by three buglers: Armando Cedeno, Tomas Becerra and Roberto Morgan.

Also featured was Douglas Hubbard, Highland Bagpiper. The ceremonies were capped by a beautiful dove release followed by hot dogs or hamburgers with chips for all.

For more information call Forgotten Soldiers Outreach at (561) 969-2222 or Palm Beach Memorial Pazrk at (561) 585-6444.


"They Gave Their Tomorrows For Our Todays."

Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge Fl SE Chpt. (62) Hold Spring Luncheon April 27, 2014

Photos by Jimmy Shirley

"The Kiss"

Evelyn and Al Irzyk exchange a kiss after being presented with Al's special surprise cake for his wife for their 68th wedding anniversary at the April 27th VBOB luncheon. Though their kiss was spontaneous, it is vividly reminiscent of the iconic photo, "The Kiss", of a sailor kissing a nurse in the Times Square celebration following the announcement of the end of WWII.

"The Cake"


George Fisher, president and founder of the chapter,

 Charlene Szabo, Dir. of the VA Hospital and Irwin Stovroff, founder of Vets Helping Heroes, 

providers of assistance dogs for disabled veterans.

Members of the Korean War Veterans Association, 

Lt. Richard E. Cronan Ch.17, Delray Beach, FL,


L-R: Joe Green, Chapter president, (8th Army Demolition);

Barry Tutin (1st Cav. 8th Reg);

Shelly Evans (5th Armored Div.); and

Bernie Ruthberg (5th Reg. Combat Team).

Condo News publisher, 

Betty Thomas with 

Edwin S. Greenfield, U.S.C.G. 

at the spring luncheon for the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge held in April 2014.

By Betty Thomas

Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge held their spring luncheon Sunday, April 27th at the Embassy Suites Hotel in West Palm Beach.

Guest speaker was Irwin Stovroff, a WW2 prisoner of war and recipient of the Purple Heart and French Legion of Honor. Stovroff is the founder of Vets Helping Heroes who train service dogs for veterans in need. Training of the dogs can be upwards of $20,000 each, but there is no cost to the recipient.

A special treat came at the end of the afternoon when dessert was presented. It was an anniversary cake for Chapter Commander Al Irzyk and his wife of 68 years, Evelyn, who was taken completely by surprise. The couple stood for pictures and kissed, to the delight of everyone there. After the Irzyks were served a piece of the cake, the rest of it was distributed among the guests.

Brig. Gen. Al Irzyk (ret) (97) , as a young Major, was a tank battalion commander under General Patton. His battallion was responsible for the rescue of the army division that was surrounded by the Germans in the bloodiest of all battles of the war — The Battle of the Bulge.

The next luncheon will be in December -- the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge. For more information, please contact President and founder George Fisher at 561-585-7086 or email him at: Their website is


Tom Kaiser announces new monument honoring VBOB

Photo by Jimmy Shirley

(l-r) George Fisher, founder/president, VBOB; Brig. Gen. Albin Irzyk (U.S.Army ret); Stuart Preston, American Legion Chaplain; and Tom Kaiser, chairman of the Boynton Beach Veteran’s Council.

Tom Kaiser of Delray Beach, chairman of the Boynton Beach Veteran’s Council, is a driven man. His goal is to see that every veteran from WW-2 to present receives the medals and awards they have earned. So far in South Florida, his efforts have resulted in over 500 veterans receiving their rightly earned medals and awards.

Kaiser has also arranged for the placement of 22 War Monuments at Boynton Beach Veteran’s Park.

At April’s spring luncheon of the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, Kaiser announced his next project was a Monument honoring the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge to be placed at the Park. The monuments are funded by donations from veterans.

Kaiser, A WW-2 Navy veteran, was added to the Congressional Record on April 21st by U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings citing Kaiser’s dedication to helping veterans. To be mentioned in the Congressional Record, one must have had a far-reaching and profound impact.

"There is nothing in South Florida pertaining to veterans that Tom hasn’t been involved in," said Hastings.

Kaiser’s passion was born after his brother lost his life in 1944 in a submarine at age 21. He vowed that he would see that his brother’s death was not in vain. He wants every veteran to receive his/her due "in their hand", not after they are gone.

Additionally, Kaiser sees that Boy Scouts are present at all award ceremonies to make sure that future generations know about the men and women who sacrificed their lives for this country.


Fla SE Chapter of the Combat Infantrymens Association Hold Spring Luncheon

Irving Stovroff, George Fisher

and Cash


Photo by

Jimmy Shirley

The Florida Southeast Chapter of the Combat Infantrymens Association held their spring luncheon at the Embassy Suites Hotel in West Palm Beach on Friday, February 28th. The keynote speaker was Irwin Stovroff, President and Founder of Vets Helping Heroes. He has raised over one million dollars to purchase, train and then donate service dogs to disabled veterans. There are 6 different levels of training for specific needs: Guide dogs for the blind; Combat stress relief dogs for PTSD; Service dogs for amputees; Dogs for those suffering seizures; Therapy dogs; and Companion dogs. The cost for training the dogs, depending on the level, can range from $10,000 for companion dogs to $60,000 for guide dogs. The dog and training are provided at no cost to the recipient.

Irwin Stovroff himself has an assistance dog, Cash, who accompanies him everywhere. Stovroff was a WWII prisoner of war and recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross Award, Purple Heart and French Legion of Honor. Irwin became affiliated with the Vet Dog program in Smithtown, N.Y. He started the program, funded by donations, here in 2006. They have placed 100 therapy dogs throughout the country.

A book has been written about Stovroff, "Gone to the Dogs." For more information about Vets Helping Heroes, Inc, telephone (561) 432-3324 or e-mail or visit their website at

VBOB Donates TV to 

Faith, Hope, Love, Charity

Faith, Hope, Love, Charity/ Stand Down House provides much needed support for homeless veterans and their families. They have a house in Lake Worth that provides meals, housing, and transportation. A donation of a 37" TV was made by the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge Southeast Chapter for the enjoyment of the residents. Pictured l/r: Roy Foster, cofounder and executive director of the Stand Down House, George Fisher, VBOB Chapter President, Gen. Al Irzyk, VBOB Chapter Commander, and Joe Petrucci, VBOB member. Another example of veterans helping veterans.

Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge Christmas Luncheon 2013

Photos by Jimmy Shirley

A poem that was written by a Belgian citizen and recited at the Henri - Chappelle American Cemetery and Memorial in Belgium on Memorial Day 2004 was read at the December 15, 2013 meeting of the VBOB. Click here to read the Ode to the U.S. Army. 

St. Maj. (Ret) Louis Barnes with George Fisher, president and founder of the chapter.

Sgt. Maj. (Ret) Louis Barnes and wife Jacquelyn

The Florida Southeast Chapter (62) of the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge had their Christmas Luncheon Sunday, December 15, 2013 at their new venue at the Embassy Suites Hotel commemorating the 69th anniversary of that bloodiest battle of WWII. George Fisher wrote, "By December 1944, just six months after the Normandy landings, the total defeat of Germany seemed inevitable. Then it happened. At 5:30 am on the morning of December 16th, a vanguard of three German Armies totaling 500,000 men attacked us in the Ardennes region of Belgium and Luxembourg, achieving total surprise. It took six bloody weeks to push the enemy back to where they started ... at a cost of 80,000 casualties, including 19,000 who made the supreme sacrifice. The victory in the Ardennes belonged to the American Soldier."

This was as joint meeting with the members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart #717 and Combat Infantrymen’s Association, their spouses and guests. State Senator Maria Sachs presented Fisher with a proclamation from Gov. Scott proclaiming Dec. 15, 2013, Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge Day. As a special surprise, the Senator also presented him a U.S. flag that had flown over the state capital in Tallahassee the previous day.

Keynote speaker was Command Sergeant Major Louis Barnes, recently retired after serving 26 years in the U. S. Army Military Police, which included 2 tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2005-2007. In his capacity as commander of the Army police, he led U.S. efforts to bring stability to the area. He sustained wounds from 5 roadside bombs and holds the Purple Heart.

Sgt. Maj. Barnes was accompanied by his beautiful wife, Jacquelyn Barnes.

There were some 175 members at this year’s luncheon. The chapter presently has 195 members.

This chapter meets twice a year, in April and in December near the anniversary of the battle. For information about the chapter, please contact George Fisher, president/founder, at (561) 585-7086 or e-mail him at Visit their website at .

Veterans' Day Weekend Parades, 

Lake Worth & West Palm Beach 2013

Photos by Jimmy Shirley

To see more photos on our 

Facebook page, click here    

The Veterans' Day Parade in Lake Worth was held on Saturday, Nov. 9th, 2013. Pictured above is the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge float. George Fisher, president and founder of the chapter is pictured standing by the float before the parade got underway.

Forgotten Soldiers Outreach Opens FSO Thrift Store II/Furniture Annex

Photos by Jimmy Shirley

On Friday, July 12, Forgotten Soldiers Outreach (FSO) opened their second thrift store, FSO Furniture Annex in Buttonwood Plaza at 3032 Jog Road. Their original thrift store, also in Buttonwood Plaza is located at 3080 Jog Rd.

Participating in the ribbon cutting were (pictured above) were City of Greenacres Deputy Mayor Rochelle Gaenger and Rep. Lori Berman Dist. 90, as well as Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Scott Wilson, Donna McDaniels of the City of Greenacres Community Center, the FSO Team of Volunteers and the FSO Thrift Store Team.

Others present were City Councilman Pearce, Roy Foster of Faith Hope & Love Charity/Stand Down House.

Cici’s pizza provided free pizza slices for attendees.

Revenue generated by the thrift stores will help fund FSO’s monthly "We Care" packages, but will offer a voucher program for returning soldiers as well as 50% off to returning veterans.

Donations are needed of furniture, clothing, house-wares, etc. Free pickup. Info: 969-2222.

Stand Down House Holds Thirteenth Annual Picnic

Photos by Jimmy Shirley

Pictured above are Andrew Nguyen (front), Bob Leiup ("Loop") standing left, Casimiro Crocket, Adm. Dir., and Gary Dukes. The men are members of Nam Knights. Ms. Crocket lives at the Mayfair House in Palm Beach.

Roy Foster,

co-founder of Faith*Hope*Love*Charity, Inc.

and the

Stand Down House


Max Nelson, a Vietnam Veteran, is pictured with his wife Celia and his mother-in-law Anita.

On Saturday, July 13, Faith*Hope*Love*Charity, Inc. held their thirteenth annual STAND*DOWN Picnic at Dubois Park in Jupiter. Stand Down, founded by Roy Foster, is a grassroots, community based intervention program designed to help homeless male veterans with a "hand up", not a hand out. Its program was  developed to help veterans who are struggling with PTSD, mental health issues and other physical issues and have lost their home, dignity and the ability to lead productive lives. It is a multi-tiered program that offers supportive services to assist veterans, active duty armed forces and families, supportive housing, job training, education referral, VA/SSA benefit information, AA/NA meetings, peer to peer support groups, outreach services, family counseling, and so much more. The program has helped over 2000 veterans.

The Stand Down House for homeless/displaced male veterans is located at 4309 Davis Road in Lake Worth.

Faith*Hope*Love*Charity, Inc. has also opened a residential facility for families and female veterans struggling with homelessness.

 For more information about Faith*Hope*Love* Charity, Inc. and the Stand Down House, please call them at (561) 968-1612 or visit their website at

Memorial Day 2013 

Forgotten Soldiers Outlook with

Palm Beach Memorial Park

"A Day To Remember"

Photos by Betty Thomas

George Fisher, Pres./founder of the the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, Fla SE Chapter (62) is pictured with the wreath presented by the chapter at the Memorial Day Ceremony at Palm Beach Memorial Gardens in Lantana.

Jewish War Veterans Post 520 members with their wreath: 

l-r, Herb Gordon, P. Cdr.; David Waldstein, P. Cdr.; Hy Glassman, P. Cdr.; Bernard Kaufman, Cdr.; and Seymour Kirshner, P. Cdr.

By Betty Thomas

Forgotten Soldiers Outreach and Palm Beach Memorial Park in Lantana presented their 8th annual "A Day to Remember" Memorial Day ceremony Monday, May 27, 2013. It was the 10th anniversary for FSO.

The program featured "Children of the Military" with performances by The New Young Patriots, and colors presented by Santaluces High School Army Junior ROTC, Seminole Ridge High School Army Junior ROTC, Lake Worth High School Air Force Junior ROTC, Boca Delray Sea Cadets, with the Boy Scouts of America, Troop 395 and Cub Scouts of America, Pack 241 raising the colors and placing the wreaths for the various organizations .

Keynote Speaker was Jonathan Castro (Lake Worth High). A poem entitled "We Drank from the Same Canteen" was read by Samantha Mouring (Lake Worth High) and the benediction was read by Jacob &Jordan Williams, Boy Scouts of America, Troop 395.

The Wreath of Honor was placed by Christopher Barnikel and Kashema Powell (Santaluces High School Army Junior ROTC.

At the end of the program, the Eternal Dove Release was conducted by the Boy Scouts Troop 395 and Cub Scouts Troop 241.


Poinciana Country Club's Fourth Annual Memorial Day Parade

Photo by Ed Manley

Poinciana Country Club in Western Lake Worth celebrated Memorial Day with a parade and ceremony. For the fourth year, this senior community hosted the JHohn I. Leonard H.S. Band, the Naval Honor Guard, Boy Scouts & Cub Scouts Troop #208 and Brownies Troop #21127. The keynote speaker was State Attorney David Aronberg.

VBOB Spring Meeting April 21, 2013

By Betty Thomas

Photos by Jimmy Shirley

Sid G. Poe, Brig. Gen. Al Irzyk (Ret.) and Lisa Poe

Sid G. Poe and his wife Lisa were guests of Al Irzyk, Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge chapter president at the spring luncheon held on April 21st for chapter members, their families and guests.

The Poes lived at the Tower 1515 from 1996 until they vacated it after the 2004 Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne, and Hurricane Wilma in 2005. They were on the 8th floor and the storms blew right through the unit.

Sid grew up in the Army, his father, a noncommissioned officer was a Sgt. Maj. Sid often saw stories in the Condo News, which went to Tower 1515, and other papers about Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge featuring Al Irzyk, Brig. Gen. (Ret.), U.S. Army, a tank commander during WWII. Sid, being very interested in military history, contacted the Irzyks and they planned to meet.

Also fueling his desire to meet Al was a letter among his father’s military records that mentioned a speech Al had given at Ft. Knox, KY, where his father was stationed. As it turned out, Sid’s father was Irzyk’s Sgt. Maj. when he was a young soldier there in 1965.

Finally, in August, 2002, the Poes and Irzyks got together at the Irzyks’ home on Flagler Dr. in West Palm Beach. Their friendship has grown over the years.

After Wilma hit, Tower 1515 was condemned and all who were still there were vacated. Sid, who had a career with Southern Bell, then BellSouth in public relations, and his wife Lisa, opted to leave the area. They relocated to Oregon Bend, Oregon, east of the Cascades in what is known as the "high desert."

But that didn’t end the association the Poes have with the Irzyks. Sid and Lisa often travel to the area and always get together with Al and Evelyn Irzyk, further cementing their bond.

George Fisher (right) presenting Norman Frajman with a clock to commemorate his speaking at the meeting.

Norman Frajman displays an authentic uniform that prisoners in the concentration camps wore.

Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, Fla SE Chpt. (62) held their spring luncheon Sunday, April 21st at the Hilton Hotel Palm Beach Airport with some 100 members and guests in attendance.

Rep. Lois Frankel introduced the guest speaker, Norman Frajman, Holocaust Survivor. He related his story of living through the Warsaw Ghetto (2 years) and from there to the Majdanek extermination camp at the age of 13 where he lost members of his family, among them his mother (34) and sister (12). He described conditions in the box cars they were transported in and in the barracks where they were housed. Some 400 in a space meant for 100-120. Disease was rampant.

From Majdanek, he and 3000 prisoners (out of 20,000) were taken to another camp to manufacture munitions. The remaining 17,000 were machine gunned to death.

The last trip out of the munitions factory was a death march. One night, they were put up in a school, but they were awakened by Russian tanks — they were liberated. It was May 8th, he recalled. And, he added, he was born on 9/11.

The story was so compelling that Fisher asked Frajman to come back for the Christmas meeting in December to speak.

Norman Frajman is Chairman of the Speakers Bureau. He lives in Boynton Beach, FL

For information about the chapter, please call George Fisher, President, at (561) 585-7086.

Combat Infantrymens Association Forms New Chapter 

(l-r) C.I.A. chapter B11FL founding members: Muriel Berkman, Harold Berkman (Exec. Officer), Connie Roth (Chapter Secy), George Fisher (Commander), 

Bill Cross (National Commander, and Annette Fisher (seated).

The first meeting of the newly formed Combat Infantrymens Association Chapter B11FL was held at the Wycliffe Country Club.

For more information about either the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge or the Combat Infantrymens Association, please call George Fisher at 561-585-7086.

Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge Fla SE Chpt. (62) Hold 68th Anniversary Luncheon, 

Dec. 16th, 201212

Photo by Jimmy Shirley

(L-r) Chapter Cdr. Brig. Gen. Al Irzyk (Ret), Mrs. Genevieve Verbeek, George Fisher and Mike Pendergast.

By Betty Thomas

Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge local chapter met for their 13th annual "The Christmas We Never Had" meeting at the Hilton Hotel at the Palm Beach airport on Sunday, December 16th, 2012, the 68th anniversary of that bloodiest of all battles of WWII. The gala luncheon was attended by veterans representing most of the Infantry, Air Force and Armored Divisions involved in the battle.

Members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart #717 and members of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association also attend these meetings. Also attending were wives, children, significant others and guests of the members.

Mike Prendergast, Executive Director, Florida Department of Veteran Affairs, read the Proclamation from Governor Scott making December 16, 2012, Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge Day in the state of Florida.

Keynote speaker was the Consulate General of Belgium, Mrs. Genevieve Verbeek.

Chapter founder and president George Fisher announced the forming of a new Combat Infantrymen’s Assn. chapter, inviting all those interested in joining to contact him.

Contact George Fisher at (561) 585-7086 for more information.

U.S. Coast Guard, Riviera Beach, 

5th Annual "Wreaths Over the Water," 

Dec. 15, 2012

Photo by Jimmy Shirley

Lt. Col. Mel Pollack, Air Force (ret), tosses the last of seven wreaths into the water at the Lake Worth Inlet honoring service members lost at sea. Pollack represents all POWs and MIAs. His plane was shot down in North Vietnam where he spent 5 years as a POW at the Hanoi Hilton, sometimes sharing a cell with Sen. John McCain.

By Jimmy Shirley

The Condo News publisher, and this writer, were privileged to have been invited to the 5th Annual "Wreathes Over The Water" ceremony last Saturday morning, 15 December, at the Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet in Riviera Beach, Fla. The brainchild of Auxiliarist Ed Greenfield, the moving ceremony commemorates the veterans who had no headstone to mark their graves, those lost at sea.

After the land-based ceremony held at the Station, we were part of a group who were taken by boat to the Lake Worth Inlet. We were supposed to have been taken out into the open water. But the seas were angry that day. So, the seven wreaths, representing the six branches of the service including the Merchant Marines plus one for the POWs/MIAs, were cast into the water of the inlet instead. A bagpiper on the boat with the wreaths played "Amazing Grace" as the wreaths were tossed overboard.


My name is Charles Koppelman and I have been recently recognized by the Department of Defense 60th Anniversary of the Korean War (KW60) Commemoration Committee as your KW60 Ambassador here in the Condo News area.

The Committee, a three-year program initiated in 2010, seeks to honor the service and sacrifice of Korean War Veterans, commemorate the key events of the war, and educate Americans about the Korean War’s significance.

The Korean War is often referred as "The Forgotten War" As a KW60 Ambassador, I hope to propel Korean War Veterans and their contribution to greater public awareness. I will focus on establishing a local voice of sincere appreciation for the selfless service and sacrifices that Korean War Veterans made on behalf of all Americans. I look forward to incorporating Korean War Veterans history and Veterans into local activities such as community festival events, school programs and commemoration ceremonies.

As part of the program, I plan to thank and honor as many of our treasured Korean War Veterans (June 25,1950 – July 27, 1953) as possible in a heartfelt and meaningful way. I hope that working together locally and reaching across the Palm Beach community, we can partner, collaborate and achieve more to acknowledge our valued Korean War Veterans.

If you are a Korean War Veteran (June 25, 1950 –July 27, 1953) interested in being recognized with an official Certificate of Appreciation sent to you by the Department of Defense and signed by the Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, you may Email me at:

The following information is requested: (PLEASE PRINT) Rank, First and Last Name, Service Branch, Street Address, City, State and Zip Code. Email address optional.


Mail to: Charles Koppelman

KW60 Certificate

24 Hastings B

West Palm Beach, FL 33417-1209

Veterans Day Weekend, 2012

Lake Worth & West Palm Beach

Photos by Jimmy Shirley

Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge marched in both parades, Saturday in Lake Worth, and Sunday in West Palm Beach..

L-R: (holding banner) Bob Erskine, Will Jasmund, and George Fisher  and  in the vehicle Al Irzyk & Joseph "Juggs" Petrucci.

Members of Post 501,Golden Century Post of the Jewish War Veterans marched in the West Palm Beach parade on Sunday.

This year’s Veterans’ Day Parade returned to Lake Worth on Saturday, November 10, 2012 as part of the city’s kickoff of its 100th Anniversary celebration.

Then, on Sunday, November 11th, West Palm Beach hosted their Veterans’ Day Parade, with even more participants. (Jewish War Veterans do not march on Saturday.)

The weather was spectacular for both events and the spectators were as enthusiastic on both days. The parades were followed by festivities featuring honored guests and speakers.

Honor Flight

By Hank Morris

Condo News Columnist

Golden Lakes Village, Ph A, West Palm Beach, FL

Honor Flight Veterans at the Iwo Jima memorial.

Hank Morris is in the front row 4th from left.

Hank Morris with his 

Honor Flight Guardian

In my humble opinion, one of the most honored organizations that have a very low profile in the long lists of organizations is the "Honor Flight Network." So many people, including World War II and Korean veterans have never heard of this wonderful volunteer program that aims to give appreciation to those men and women that served in the Armed Forces during those periods. Right now, the figures are from 900 to 1000 World War II veterans are dying each day. They were members of the "Greatest Generation," and that is why they are asked if they would like to be part of a free, all expense paid trip, to our National Capital, with visits to the World War II Memorial, (at the same stop a visit to the Korean and Vietnam Memorials as well as the Lincoln Memorial) and visit Arlington National Cemetery watching the Changing of the Guard. This includes a free flight on U.S. Airways.

I had orientation with the Southeast Honor Flight located in Stuart, Florida who meet at the Knights of Columbus building on Gaines Avenue a week before we left. On Nov. 3rd at 4 A.M. they had free transportation to the airport where coffee and snacks were available, breakfast on the flight, lunch at the Knights of Columbus in Arlington, Virginia, coffee plus at the airport and dinner served on the flight home, we were well fed. If you lived in the West Palm Beach area, you met the group at the PBI airport. Free parking was arranged for the Veterans that drove to the airport in this area and again coffee, Danish and very warm greetings welcomed us. Each Veteran was assigned to a guardian and wheel chairs were available for all veterans. They were encouraged to use them. Most of the guardians came from the Martin County Fire Rescue group located at 800 SE Monterey Road, Stuart, FL 34996 and deserve as much recognition and support that they can get. I was very fortunate to have LaMar Shell as my guardian. Yes, I did use the wheelchair and she pushed me to where we had to go many times. Her son, Owen, only 14 years old, was also a guardian that was assigned to help a veteran in the wheelchair. What made tears come to eyes of most of the Veterans on the trip was the greeting that we received from the people at the Ronald Reagan Airport in D.C, when we debarked. Young to old, men and women, civilians and service women and men greeted us. There were signs and applause, hugs and kisses. Thanks over and over again. There was a band playing for us. Unbelievable but true. There were four busses waiting for our group and we had a police escort from one place to another. I have never in my life seen or have been part of a day being honored by so many people who appreciated our service in the Armed Forces of this great United States.

It did not end there. Before boarding the plane home, there was entertainment for us from the 1950s and of course, dinner and mail call on the plane home. When those that left the group that lived in the West Palm Beach area, there were people waiting to greet us as we left the terminal and that was at 9 P.M. Thanks must go to so many volunteers for having these flight from all over our Country. You might have never heard of the Honor Flights before, but now you have. I want to say another "Thank You" to the guardians and volunteers because they have to pay for the flight that they volunteer on. Nothing is "free" for them. I was so happy to read in the paper that Tequesta Fire Rescue held a "Boot Drive" to raise money for the Honor Flight.

For more information you can write to SEFL Honor Flight, Inc., P.O. Box 1503, Stuart. FL 34995. I hope that you will join me in sending a donation so that more World War II Veterans and Korean Veterans may have the same wonderful experience that I and many others had. Golden Lakes Village - Phase "A".


Memorial Day POW/MIA Ceremony

Text supplied by the 

Patriot Guard Riders.


Those who have served and those currently serving the uniformed services of the United States are ever mindful that the sweetness of enduring peace has always been tainted by the bitterness of personal sacrifice. We are compelled to never forget that while we enjoy our daily pleasures, there are others who

Photo by Jimmy Shirley

 have endured and may still be enduring the agonies of pain, deprivation and internment.

We call your attention to this small table, which occupies a place of dignity and honor near the podium. It is set for one, symbolizing the fact that members of our armed forces are missing from our ranks. 

They are referred to as POWs and MIAs. 

We call them comrades.

They are unable to be with their loved ones and families tonight, so we join together to pay our humble tribute to them, and bear witness to their continued absence.

This table, set for one, is small, symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner, alone against his or her suppressors.

The tablecloth is white, symbolic of the purity of their intentions to respond to their country's call to arms.

The single red rose in the face signified the blood many have shed in sacrifice to ensure the freedom of our beloved United States of America. This rose also reminds us of the family and friends of our missing comrades who keep the faith, while awaiting their return.

The yellow ribbon on the vase represents the yellow ribbons worn on the lapels of the thousands who demand with unyielding determination a proper accounting of our comrades who are not among us tonight.

A slice of lemon on the plate reminds us of their bitter fate. 

The sale sprinkled on the plate reminds us of the countless fallen tears of families as they wait.

The glass is inverted - they cannot toast with us this night.

The chair is empty - they are not here.

The candle is reminiscent of the light of hope which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, away from their captors, to the open arms of a grateful nation.

Let us remember and never forget their sacrifices.

Let us now have a moment of silent prayer that all of our comrades will soon be back within our ranks.

May God forever watch over them and protect them and their families. 

Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge Florida SE Chapter (62) 

Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge Fla SE Chpt. (62) Held Their Spring Luncheon, 

April 15, 2012


By Betty Thomas   

Photos by 

Betty Thomas and Jimmy Shirley

Twelve and a half  years ago in December 1999, the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, Florida Southeast Chapter (62), held their first ever luncheon/meeting at the 391st Bomb Group Restaurant that was located at the south side of the Palm Beach International Airport on Southern Blvd. in West Palm Beach. The restaurant had a WWII U.S. Army Air Force theme. There had to be at least 25 diners to rent the room. There were 34. They called their meeting "The Christmas We Never Had."

The next meeting in April 2000  had to be held at the Hilton Hotel, Palm Beach Airport, due to the rapid growth of the Chapter.

This was due to the work of one man, George Fisher, with the help of his wife Annette. The Chapter became the fastest growing group in the U.S. even as the number of veterans of WWII are dwindling in huge numbers.

"I got a letter from George Fisher," explained Chapter Commander Brig. Gen. Al Irzyk (ret), "saying that he wanted to form a Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge Chapter in Palm Beach County, but he needed signatures and would I agree to sign the petition. I did," said Irzyk. The rest is history.

This Chapter meets twice a year for their "Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge" gala/luncheon in December and again in the Spring, in April.

The next meeting will be on the 68th anniversary of the Battle, Sunday, December 16th, 2012. It will be the 13th anniversary for the chapter.

This year's spring meeting was held on Sunday, April 15th, 2012. Keynote speaker was State Senator Maria Sachs, a true friend of all veterans. She has introduced and co-sponsored many bills to benefit veterans. In fact, she said she has not served on any other committees as State Senator so she can put all her efforts towards veterans issues.

Later in the program, Charles Dykes, a National Service Officer with the Military Order of the Purple Heart, detailed the claims process. He reminded the audience that he is always at the VA Hospital to assist veterans in making their claims.


 For information on the Chapter please call George Fisher, founder/president, 

at (561) 585-7086.


December 18, 2011: 

Irwin J. Stovroff, V.P. of Veterans Helping Today’s Returning Heroes, Inc.; Charlene Szabo, Dir. of the VA Hospital; and Cash, a Veteran Service Dog. These dogs are trained for veterans who were severely wounded in the global war on terrorism. Stovroff is a WWII U.S. Army veteran. He was shot down over Germany and was a POW for 1 year. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. The organization has raised nearly $3 million for the program to date.

For more information about Vets Helping Heroes, Dogs for Disabled, contact Mr. Stovroff at 561-488-6155 or email

Photo by Jimmy Shirley 

April 2011 - M.O.P.H. #717 members and wives:, l-r: Seated, 

Louise Barone, Helen Nunberg,

Gloria Ott, Bunny Mathisen,

and Jennie Petrucci; 

Standing: Patrick Barone, 

Martin Nunberg (Cmdr), 

George Fisher, Kip Monroe (Adj),

Ray Mathisen,

Gen. Al Irzyk, (Ret), and

Joseph "Jiggs" Petrucci.

April 2011 (Couples, l-r) 

Joan & Robert Russo; 

Yolanda & Albert Pace; 

Ann Sablone; 

Grace & Tony Barrasso 

are from Greenway Condominium, Royal Palm Beach

Joan Herman & William Langfan, 

2100 South Ocean Blvd., 

at the Dec. 2009 Christmas Gala.

Ivan and Rose Steenkiste from Belgium. Mr. Steenkiste is a photographer with special interest in nature. He also has photographed Battle of the Bulge sites and chronicled Gen. Irzyk's December 2006 revisit to Bastogne and Chaumont Battlegrounds where Gen. Irzyk and Gen. James Leach were honored in a ceremony at the Mardasson Memorial for parts they played in the liberation. Gen. Irzyk if referred to as the Liberator of Chaumont and holds the Purple Heart, Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Cross, Bronze Cross and legion of Merit. To read Steenkiste's account and see his remarkable photographs, visit General Albin Irzyk.

Say Thanks to a Vet

by Tony Ditizio

We arise each morning 

to do as we please; 

Off to work or to church, 

to bend our knees;

To shop or to plant 

or prune a tree;

Knowing we live in a land 

where we're free.

So, lest we forget, 

say thanks to a Vet.


Young and old, 

they went off to war

To fight for freedom 

on some distant shore, 

Doing their duties 

without glamour nor fame, 

Praying each day, 

no bullet had their name.

Their thoughts were 

of home and their family,

Risking their lives 

so that we will be free.

So, lest we forget, 

say thanks to a Vet.


Some paid the price, 

never to come home

To the wife, mother or child, 

across the foam.

When called before God, 

who asked openly,

"Thy did you come 

here to Eternity?"

They replied without thinking, f

or they knew, you see,

"To keep our land a

nd our family free."

So, lest we forget, 

say thanks to a Vet.


POW Pledge of Allegiance.

Submitted by Murray Stein



I am an American. I was a POW. I have served my country. I need no one to tell me what allegiance I owe ... to my flag ... to my home ...




This is my country. I have fought for it. I have been imprisoned for it. I have died for it.




This flag stands for me, for love. My love for my family. My love for my friends. I did not forsake it when I was beaten, when I was starved, when I was killed ...




I am one man. I have one country. I worship one God. Under God I was saved. Under God I have no fear...




My allegiance is to Liberty, to Justice. My flag represents the best of myself, my effort, my home, my country. I will pledge allegiance to the flag, I will pledge under the love of God. It is my right, My privilege, My duty. I have earned it. Tell me not how! I have given you much. I am an EX-POW. Take nothing more from me.





"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

— Theodore Roosevelt



George & Annette Fisher with Evelyn and Al Irzyk. George Fisher is founder and president of the VBOB chapter and Albin Irzyk, Brig. Gen. (Ret) is commander.

Photo by Betty Thomas


April 2012:

State Senator Maria Sachs with George Fisher, Pres. & founder of the Chapter.

Photo by Jimmy Shirley

December 2011:

(L-r) Rep. Ted Deutch 

and George Fisher.

Photo by Jimmy Shirley


Al Irzyk with 

Col. Alan L. Weierman, Commanding Officer of the Southeastern Military Academy.

Photo by Jimmy Shirley 


Angel Crespo served with the U.S. Army 4th Inf. in Iraq from Sept. 2008 to Sept. 2009, the same unit that captured Saddam Hussein in 2005.Crespo had served in the National Guard during peace time. After 9/11, he enlisted in the Army. He was a guest of the VBOB Chapter.

Photo by Jimmy Shirley 


April 2011:

(L-r) Rev. Anthony Beasley, 

        Chief Chaplain, VA Med. Ctr.; 

Brig. Gen. Al Irzyk (Ret), VBOB Cdr.; 

Col. Alan L Weierman, 

        C.O. Southeastern Mil. Academy;

Kristy McKillop, Asst. Dir., VA Med.Ctr.;

George Fisher, Pres./founder VBOB


April 2010: 

l-r: Janine Mendelsberg, Celina Portnoy, George Fisher, Yvette Sendker and Yvonne Jeck.


Victory Belles Nicole Oberleitner, Courtney Bae and Victoria Reed with George Fisher, VBOB President after the Dec. 2010 luncheon.


December 2010 Luncheon:

M.O.P.H. #717 members and wives: couples, l-r:

Helena & Martin Nunberg; Louise & Patrick Barone; Fla State Service Officer Angela next to M.O.P.H. Exec. Officer Kip Monroe (center standing); Anita & J.P. Haskins, State Executive; Flo & Don C. Smith, State Examiner.


April, 2010, (L-R) George Fisher, president/and founder of the VBOB Chapter, with BOSN4 James T. Mullinax and PA Specialist Edwin Greenfield, U.S. Coast Guard. Millinax was assigned to the Coast Guard Cutter Baranof in the North Arabian Gulf during Operation Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and the first Gulf War.


April 2010:

L-R: With husbands standing behind their wives: William & Edna Panzini; Tony & Chicki Ditizio; Louie & Jo Panzini; Tony & Grace Barrasso; and Joseph & Johanna Currao. The group is from Greenway Village in Royal Palm Beach.


For information about the chapter, call George Fisher, Pres., at 585-7086.


Following Submitted by 

Jimmy Walker

Past Commander of the

Combat Infantryman's Assn. 

Co. B, 1st Bn, 1st Reg, FL

What Is A Veteran


Some veterans bear visible signs of their service:
a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye.

Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding
a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg -
or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul's
ally forged in the refinery of adversity.

Except in parades, however, the men and women who
have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem.

You can't tell a vet just by looking. What is a vet?

He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi
Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored
personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks,
whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a
hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of
exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She - or he - is the nurse who fought against futility
and went to sleep sobbing every night for
two solid years in Da Nang.

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another -
or he didn't come back AT ALL.

He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat -
but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account
rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to
watch each other's backs.

He is the parade - riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons
and medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the career quartermaster who watches the
ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns,
whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever
preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor
dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield
or in the ocean's sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket -
palsied now and aggravating slow - who helped liberate a
Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were
still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being -
a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in
the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions
so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness,
and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on
behalf of the finest, the greatest nation ever known.

So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country,
just lean over and say Thank You. That's all most people need,
and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could
have been awarded or were awarded. Two little words that mean a lot,

 Father Denis Edward O'Brien


The speaker at the April 10, 2003 spring luncheon of the V.B.O.B. was Brig. Gen. William E. Carlson, who is a veteran of the wars in Korea and Viet Nam, and holder of the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, Silver Star and Bronze Star. He played an important role in the creation of the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge Monument in Orlando, FL, and was the keynote speaker for the National Convention there.

Though he was too young to serve during WWII, Gen. Carlson has been a student of the greatest battle ever fought in modern times. He skillfully traced the Battle of the Bulge from the planning stage to the end in a breathtaking speech that drew vivid pictures for the rapt audience and rendered most eyes tearful and voices mute when it was over. It was so moving that we elected to carry it as a permanent feature of this Web page

Click here to read the text 

of Gen. Carlson's Speech: 

Brig. Gen. Wm. E. Carlson's Speech




Korean War Memorial Unveiled on 60th Anniversary, June 25, 2010

Story & Photos by Jimmy Shirley

Korean War Memorial

Joe W. Green, 1st Vice President of the Richard E. Cronan Chapter #17 of the Korean War Veterans looks on during the ceremonies.

Doo Hwa Oh, a Sgt. in the ROK Marine Division, stands with the Memorial. He has lived in Palm Beach County for over 35 years.

On Friday, June 25th, the 60th Anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War, a Monument to the Veterans of that war was unveiled at the Boynton Beach Bicentennial Park.

The monument was sponsored by the Richard E. Cronan Chapter #17 of the Korean War Veterans, Delray Beach. Some 200 people attended the unveiling.

Monuments for WWI, Pearl Harbor, POW/MIAs, plaques commemorating individuals, and now Korea, fill the park.

According to the Department of Defense, more than 54,000 U.S. troops gave their lives during the war and some 100,000 were wounded.

A Visit to Omaha Beach

Story & photos by Ralph Wugman, 

Cdr. Golden Century Post #501 Jewish War Veterans of the USA

Omaha Beach in its present peaceful condition. The size of this beach, compared to the length of New York beaches where the writer grew up, was, in comparison, small, yet deadly, where many of our troops lost their lives. 

Omaha Beach American Cemetery Memorial

Visitors at the Omaha Beach American Cemetery. Each grave marker has the name of the deceased, his rank, his unit, date of death, but not the age of these heroes.

Grave markers at the Omaha Beach American Cemetery with Star of David markers in the foreground. 

On a visit to Normandy, France last year, I visited Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery there. There are over 5,000 graves of the young men who made the supreme sacrifice for our country. Many of the fallen heroes from WWII remains were returned t their families in the United States.

Helping Homeless Veterans

By Jimmy Shirley

Roy Foster at the Stand Down House in Lake Worth



Photos by Jimmy Shirley

L-R: Tairetha Foster, Casimiro Hampton-Crocket, Ph.D., Admin. Dir. of Faith*Hope*Love*Charity, Inc. (resident of Mayfair House Condominium in South Palm Beach), (name) , and Roy Foster at City Hall in West Palm Beach on Veterans' Day, Nov. 11, 2009, where Roy was honored as a nominee for CNN Hero of the Year 2009 Award.

Roy J. Foster is a modern success story. An Army veteran, 54 years old, he overcame the hopelessness of being a homeless alcoholic to co-found The Stand Down House, a rehab halfway house for what is a national scandal - homeless veterans. I say this because it aught to fall on the federal government, for whom these proud men and women pledged their very lives, if need be, in the service to their country, to care for them the rest of their natural born lives.

Mr. Roy was one of those who found it hard to readjust back to the civilian life they had left behind. After serving nearly 6 years in the Army, four of those in Germany, he came back home with little sense of direction. Heading to California, where he had some family, Mr. Roy mostly found some drinking buddies and party animals that only wanted to good times to roll forever. He began to realize this was not the life for him and headed back east.

Arriving in South Florida he connected with Faith Farm to have a place to stay and something to do, refurbishing the furniture they sell to help fund their program. Eventually, through his Faith Farm connection, he got a job working to counsel borderline criminals in the Palm Beach County jail, contracting through the Sheriff’s Department. His counseling was with drug addicts and alcoholics, having some real life experience with the latter. Mr. Roy worked for a time out at the county stockade located near the South Florida Fairgrounds.

In 1994, Mr. Roy and his friend Donald Reed, deceased, formed Faith*Hope*Love*Charity, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to offering struggling veterans a hand up to help them find dignity in their lives once again and to find a worthy endeavour for their life’s work. In May of 2000, Stand Down House opened on Davis Road in suburban Lake Worth. The facility has the sound endorsement of Rep. Ron Klein (D) Florida, Rep. Tom Rooney (R) Florida and Charisse Grant, VP for Programs of the Dade Community Foundation, among others.

Currently, Stand Down House provides 46 beds and has contracted with the Department of Veterans affairs to provide 21 more on referral. The help they provide includes medical classes, substance abuse classes, psychiatric visits and compensated work therapy. My hat is off in total respect for what Mr. Foster and his dream has done, the good that has come from it and the broken lives from war, that he and his organization have helped put back together.

For more information on how you can help, please call their administrative office at 561-968-1612, the Stand Down House at 561-649-9919 or visit their website at Trust me on this. Their mission is worthy, you could almost say "They are on a mission from God."



Veterans Organizations Directory

Veterans of World War 1 U.S.A., W.P.B. Barracks No. 507

In Memoriam, Al Ross, 1902-2003


Airborne Veterans

(All Service Branches -- Jump Qualified Eligible)

James Hunter, Chairman: (561) 793-3597

Robert Robinson: (561) 706-9299 (M-F)


American Legion District 11

Paul Bosco, Commander, 561-281-8454


American Legion 

Auxiliary Palm Beach Unit 12, 3201 So. Dixie Hwy., W P B., (561) 655-1343

Post 47, 2315 N. Dixie Hwy., Lake Worth, FL 33460, (561) 585-4616

Post 164, 571 W. Ocean Ave., Boynton Beach, FL 33426, 561-265-1796

Post 258, 364 Swain Blvd., Greenacres, FL 33463, (561) 432-0781

Riviera Beach Memorial Post 268, 

1690 Ave. H. West, Riviera Beach, FL 33404, (561) 844-7125 

Post 367,  meets in the Royal Palm Beach Cultural Center, 

(561) 792-3813, (561) 795-4854

Post 371, Palm Beach Gardens, Duke Peters, Adj., (561) 626-1460


Combat Infantrymen's Association, Inc., Chapter B11FL

George Fisher (561) 585-7086


Disabled American Veterans, Chap. 42

Joseph Jakuboski, Cdr.

7305 N. Mil. Trl., Rm 1A-141, West Palm Beach, FL 33410

(561) 422-8312


Disabled American Veterans of So. Palm Beach County, Chap. 152

Glenn Stahl, Cdr, (561) 789-8280;

Michael Coleman, Vice Cdr., (561) 558-3279.

So. Co. Civic Ctr., 16700 Jog Rd., Delray Beach


8th Air Force Historical Society

Robert H. Nolan Fl. Chapter

For membership, Jim Hart, 114 Monterey Way, Royal Palm Bch., FL 33411


Jewish War Veterans

Post 266, Delray Beach, Cdr. Morry Goldfarb, 561-870-4265

Post 266-A, " " , Roberta White, 561-499-9584

Post 321, Delray Beach, Rick Fine (561) 499-4382

321-A, " " , Anita Silverberg (561) 637-2671

Post 440, Boynton Beach, Jerry Schnur, 561-966-2158

Post 459, Boca Raton, Leo Petrover, 561-361-1101

459-A, " " , Lee Hoppen, (561-637-8430

Post 501, Gldn.Century, WPB, Howard Lowenthal, (561) 478-2780

Post 502, W. Palm Beach, Jack Tare, (561) 732-0732

Post 520, W. Palm Beach, Bernie Kaufman, 561-439-1157

Post 520A, W.Palm Bch., Edith Crosby, 561-626-6170

Post 631, Boca Raton, David Richman, 561-487-8768

631-A, Boca Raton, Annette Rose, 561-483-8113

Post 684, R. P. Bch.,Jules Horowitz, 561-791-1137

Post 819, W.Boynton Bch., Bob Pickman, 561-752-1040

Palm Beach District Council, Charles Epstein, 561-487-2721

Treasure Coast Dist. Council, Dr. Mike Weiss, 772-569-5823


Korean War Veterans Association

Lt. Richard E. Cronan Chapter 17

Delray Beach, FL

Arnold Bob Kempler, Sect.  (561) 499-4892


Marine Corps League

Gen. A.A. Vandegrift Detachment 068

PO Box 210545, West Palm Beach, FL 33421

Sebastian Yeend 561-236-8033 or Manuel Moreno 561-846-0150  Email: 


Military Officers Association of America (MOAA)

Palm Beach Area Chapter (out of Boynton Beach)

Membership, Call Sonny Barber @ 561-362-5206

Palm Beach-Martin Counties Chapter (out of Jupiter)

Membership, Call Marc Oliveri @ 561-753-7565


Military Order of the Purple Heart, Post 717-West Palm Beach

Office: Veterans' Administration Hospital, Suite 1A-143

Membership: Call (561) 422-5647


Navy Seabee Veterans of America

Department of Florida, Island X-12 Palm Beach County

William Edwards, Secretary, (561) 881-8245


Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Inc. Fla. Gold Coast Chpt. 4

Jerome Mintz, Pres: (954) 472-2754

E.K. Carstens, Sec'y.: (954) 989-8438


Reserve Officers Association, Chapter 20, Palm Beach County, FL

Membership, call Don Isaacs (561) 697-4902


US Coast Guard Combat Veterans Ass. 

PO Box 544, Westfield Ctr., Ohio 44251

Baker W. Herbert, LM, National Secretary


Palm Beach County contact Jack Campbell

N.J.: 732-229-2413; W.P.B.: 561-842-3057


Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, Fla. SE Chapter (62)

Al Irzyk, Brig. Gen., Ret., Commander; George Fisher, President

Membership: George Fisher, (561) 585-7086


Veterans of Foreign Wars

Post 4143, 2404 Broadway (US-1), Riviera Beach, FL 33404, (561) 844-5718

Post 4360 & Ladies' Aux,217 Alemeda Dr, Palm Springs, FL 33461, 439-4515

Post 4445, 364 Swain Blvd., Greenacres. FL 33463, (561) 432-0781


Veterans Services of America
P.O. Box 8035, West Palm Beach, FL 33407
(561) 613-1181 •


Vetsville Cease Fire House (Shelters for Veterans)

291 NE 19th Ave., Boynton Beach, FL 33435 (561) 533-5797


Vietnam Veterans of America

Chpt. 25, West Palm Beach, FL

Membership call (561) 512-0678


Women Veterans of America

Chapter #11

Charlotte Rebillard, Commander

Membership, call (561) 686-7262.



To list your veterans organization or to correct your organization's listing, send your request by email to

Or mail to: Condo News,  P.O. Box 109, 

West Palm Beach, FL 33402





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WWI History

WWII in Europe  

Timeline with photos and text.

WWII in the Pacific

Timeline with text

Holocaust Timeline

Text and Photos

WWII Memorial


The 517th Regimental Combat Team

The Battling Buzzards Homepage

Sgt. William Heller's
World War II Memoirs
3rd Infantry Division 

Sharing the pictorial history of World War II in

U.S.S. Indianapolis — Still at Sea Homepage with history and news

Korean War Memorials

Photos of Korean War Memorials across the country

Korean War Project

Includes information about KIAs, MIAs, WIAs & POWs

The Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Wall Page

Honors those who died in Vietnam

The Wall On The Web

Lists the names appearing on the  Vietnam  Memorial Wall

American Merchant Marine at War Dedicated to the Mariners who died in service in all wars

Arlington Cemetery

Department of Veterans Affairs Home Page

National Cemetery Administration, Dept. of Veterans Affairs

American WWII Orphans Network

Combat Infantrymen's Association

Co. B, 1st Batt., 1st Reg., FL

U.S. Coastguard Combat Veterans Association

The National WWII Museum New Orleans