Hearts go out to veterans wounded in battle
Bob Teichgraeber of Collinsville sat among a group of nearly 20 Purple Heart veterans on hand Sunday at Lakeview Park in Waterloo, marveling at the sight of friends, family members and thankful residents showing their support.
“This was fantastic,” Teichgraeber told the Republic-Times.
Though he does not reside in Monroe County, Teichgraeber’s grandfather, Louis Teichgraeber, served in the Civil War and lived out his days in Waterloo. He is buried in Waterloo City Cemetery with 99 other Civil War soldiers.
Bob Teichgraeber, 96, served in World War II when he received his battle scar. Others at the Purple Heart monument dedication ceremony served in the Vietnam War, Korean War and Iraq War.
The purpose of Sunday’s event, in which Waterloo Mayor Tom Smith ran the show, was to unveil a Purple Heart monument in honor of local veterans injured or killed in action. Additionally, speakers included State Rep. Jerry Costello II (D-Smithton), Waterloo VFW Commander Rick Schilling, Waterloo American Legion Commander Roy J. May and Waterloo Park District Board commissioner Ken Niemann.
“The Purple Heart is perhaps the most unique of all military medals,” Schilling said. “The (medal) signifies one thing: sacrifice.”
Costello elaborated on what that sacrifice should mean to the American people.
“There are two people who gave us freedom,” he said. “The first one, Jesus Christ, gave you your spiritual freedom and the American soldier gave you your earthly freedom, and we owe both of them a great debt of gratitude.”
The President of the United States awards the Purple Heart to any member of the military wounded or killed in action.
Enemy-related injuries that merit a Purple Heart include injury caused by enemy bullet, shrapnel, or other projectile created by enemy action; injury caused by an enemy-placed land mine or trap; injury caused by an enemy released chemical, biological or nuclear agent; injury caused by a vehicle or aircraft accident resulting from enemy fire; or concussion injuries caused as a result of enemy-generated explosions.
Teichgraeber received his injury from an aircraft accident resulting from enemy fire. In 1944, he traveled in a Consolidated B-24 Liberator, which the enemy shot down over Germany…
Read the rest of this story in the Aug. 10 issue of the Republic-Times newspaper. To purchase a subscription to the paper, call 618-939-3814 or click here.