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Radio hosts wants 365 Veterans Days a year
By Lenore T. Adkins | Daily Herald Staff

Korean War veteran Jeremiah Crise of Palatine, the Illinois Veteran of the Month in May, speaks live on the air during a special five-hour radio broadcast Sunday on WRMN 1410-AM in Elgin. The broadcast was the second annual "Tribute to Troops."


State Sen. Michael Noland speaks live on the air during a special five-hour radio broadcast Sunday on WRMN 1410-AM in Elgin. At left is George Rawlinson, at the right is co-host Jeff Myers and in foreground is Steve Thoren.


John Starks | Staff Photographer

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Published: 11/10/2008 12:12 AM

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Everyday should be Veterans Day, Elgin author George Rawlinson said Sunday during "Tribute to the Troops," a five-hour radio show broadcast on WRMN 1410-AM.

The show was a salute to soldiers who have worn the uniform in the past, the present and to those who did not return home from the battlefield.

"We should honor them today, we should honor them tomorrow, and of course, we should honor them Tuesday," said Rawlinson, one of the show's hosts. "Let's make every day, Veterans Day."

The show, co-hosted by Jeff Myers, opened the phone lines for listeners who wanted to call in and pay homage to the veterans in their lives. It also featured in-studio and scheduled call-in guests, including Elgin Marine Gordon Schnulle, who fought in World War II during the Battle of Iwo Jima.

Of the 260 men in Schnulle's company that arrived on Iwo Jima in February 1945, just 39 of the original men were alive roughly a month later, Schnulle said. Eighteen of the men were from Elgin, and five were killed in action, said Schnulle, a machine-gunner during the war.

"When we hit the beach, there was just bodies all over the beach and you just had tunnel vision where you just went in," Schnulle said.

Jeremiah Crise, 78, of Palatine, a Korean War veteran who also was in the Indiana National Guard and the Air Force, was an in-studio guest.

In May, the state named him "Veteran of the Month," for his ongoing work to ensure that veterans received quality health care and for his work on Congressman Mark Kirk's Military Academy selection steering committee.

Crise comes from a long line of soldiers that served for 13 generations, beginning with the Revolutionary War.

The decorated veteran also has received the National Defense Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal and the Korean Service Medal, with two battle stars.

On the show, he discussed fighting in the same squadron with future astronaut Buzz Aldrin and next to the one that fellow astronaut John Glenn belonged to.

Through it all, his wife, Lois, remained the most important person in his life, Crise said.

She died three years ago.

Finally, the show paid homage to Elgin's Art Richoz and Gene Bonk, who joined the Army to fight during World War II.

They died earlier this year and Richoz, in particular, pushed for the Veterans Memorial Park that Elgin officials will dedicate Tuesday.

"They were two extraordinary men, with wonderful, wonderful contributions to their communities and country," Rawlinson said.