By Sharon Wisch-Ray
Thanks to JWV Post 755 Past Commander Julian Haber who was kind enough to share the latest goings on of the Martin Hochster Post of the Jewish War Veterans.
On June 2 at the Great Hall of Congregation Beth El, in Fort Worth, JWV 755 presented the Morton Herman Service to Veterans Award to the Honorable Preston “Pete” Geren, former secretary of the Army. Geren was instrumental in reforming the Army’s medical services to soldiers and veterans after the scandal at Water Reed Hospital. In addition, he began a number of initiatives that produced more support and helped better Army life for service families.
As an assistant on special projects and legislative assistant to the Secretary of Defense, he was in the Pentagon when terrorists commandeered American Airlines Flight 77 and flew it into the building on 9/11.
The award is named after Morton Herman, a Vietnam veteran who has devoted extensive time, effort and resources to help the post.
Prior winners included State Senator Wendy Davis who was instrumental in getting the Veterans lottery passed, Judge Brent Carr, developer of Veterans Court, Nikki Hatley and Stevie Hansen, who helped develop Liberty House, a reintegration facility for homeless vets through Tarrant County MHMR Visions and the VA.
New officers were installed and included Ron Sivernell, Commander; Peter Levy, Sr. Vice Commander; Arnold Abrams, Jr., Vice Commander; Will Cutler, Judge Advocate; Nelda Sivernell, Adjutant; Dr. Arthur Pawgan, Acting Quartermaster and Mike Bumagin, Historian. Outgoing Commander is Rich Morris. The post also honored WWII veterans at the celebration.
On May 19, members of the JWV Martin Hochster Memorial Post 755 placed flags on all Jewish veterans’ graves in Tarrant County, including the Ahavath Sholom section of Greenwood Cemetery, the Beth El Section of Greenwood, Hebrew Rest and Davis Cemetery in Arlington.
On Memorial Day itself, the JWV received an informative address from Brigadier General Brian Newby, Vice Commander and Chief of Staff of the Texas Air National Guard. A memorial service was conducted by Cantor Sheri Allen of Congregation Beth Shalom. The names of all deceased Tarrant County service men and women were read, as well as those of Jewish soldiers killed in current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“We are proud that members from all congregations in our county participated,” said Haber Among those in attendance were Girl Scouts from Troop 2043, Laurin Baum, Stephanie Trimble, Rich Morris, Tom Collins and Will Cutler, Rabbi Sidney Zimelman, Dr. Julian Haber, Ken Sherwin and Dr. Barry Schneider.
News from the JFS senior front
Hedy Collins asked me to extend a “huge thank you” to Marti Herman and her gardening elves for helping the JFS Seniors maintain a healthy diet. Radishes, lettuce, beets, onions and potatoes, along with greens have been delivered and distributed to participating seniors. It is so good to have super fresh produce and it also saves them money at the grocery store.
Added thanks to Leah Gilstrap, her mom and brother who have brought in fresh veggies, individually bagged and ready to dispense.
Leah has taken on the JFS Seniors as a mitzvah project for her upcoming bat mitzvah. Last week, Leah helped with Bingo and brought all the participants individual challahs that she baked herself. They were delicious and braided so nicely. Yasher Koach, Leah!