Last Man’s Banquet


 Last Man’s Banquet in Gaylord.
Brigadier General Jeffery Bertrang was the featured speaker Wednesday at the Last Man’s Banquet in Gaylord. The Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop principal has served in the National Guard since 1983. Also pictured is Roger Meffert (left) and Ron Henke (middle). Meffert is the Company Clerk of the newly formed Vietnam Last Man’s Club while Henke is the Sgt. Major.

Eighty-six members and guests attended the World War II, Korean War, and newly-organized Vietnam War Club Last Man’s Club reunion on Wednesday, November 11.

Seven members of the remaining 15 of the World War II Club, and 21 members of the remaining 42 of the Korean War Club attended the reunion. The Vietnam War Club had 28 members at its organizational meeting. Membership will be open until Nov. 11, 2010. The club is soliciting membership and encourages anyone who served from Feb. 28, 1961 through May 7, 1975 to join.

The World War II Last Man’s Club had 95 members when it organized in 1948. The Korean War Club had 56 members when it was organized in 1996.

A toast and taps were played for all departed comrades. Six members left their ranks during the past year. They are World War II members Duane Wilson, Lloyd Olson, and John Kramber, and Korean War members Bob Zimmermann, Jim Deis, and Rodney Anderson.

Featured speaker was Brigadier General Jeffery Bertrang, who has served in the National Guard since 1983 and is also principal at GFW High School. General Bertrang last served active duty in Kosovo commanding a Regiment of 2,700 personnel during a Peace Keeping Mission as part of a United Nations force. He also talked about peace keeping duties when called upon by the President of the United States, as well as being called upon by the Governor of the State, for an event that can’t be handled by law enforcement and fire protection personnel. General Bertrang spoke about the National Guard standing ready to serve around the world, such as they are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan, and being ready anywhere terrorists strike.