State Fair Veterans Day: Talking with WWII vets

Veteran's Voices

DES MOINES, Iowa –A state fair tradition continued on Monday with Veterans Day at the Iowa State Fair. The main event was a parade down Grand as thousands of people applauded and waved. Hundreds of veterans were in various formations or on floats to wave back.

Later in the day, there was a concert to honor military veterans. That included a large band and choir and a group of children. The seats at the concert were packed. One special guest was the new Commander of the USS Iowa a new submarine being built to take the place of the now-retired USS Iowa Battleship, which is parked in the harbor in Los Angeles.

“We’re here today we’re gonna step out and say here we are we are USS Iowa SSN797 the submarine the namesake for which we will carry for all citizens of Iowa,” said Quentin James, the Commanding Officer of the new ship. “We just want our sailors to experience some of Iowa Nice.”

“To the veterans who continue to uphold the legacies of your comrades we offer again, our un-ending support,” said Governor Kim Reynolds. “And to our Gold Star families of those who lay down their lives in defense of our country, ours is truly a grateful state and country that will never ever forget your sacrifice.”

Rex Moore remembered his service in Korea.

“Heartbreak Ridge 69 years ago today, we were up on, Friday the 13th we after we let there we spent time in the Punch Bowl,” said Moore, who still works one day a week, at Hy-Vee.

Asked to talk about his service, Earl Meffard, a WWII vet from Hedrick declined.

“I don’t talk about it, these days, I’m retired,” said Meffard. “I enjoy talking to the VA, and American Legion, I’ve been a Legion member for 76 years.”

“I was born January 21, 1926, I enlisted when I was 17,” said Keith Frarens of Bedford. “Army Air Corps cadet program and I went through, basic training, at that time they didn’t need any more pilots and so I was transferred in Scott field Illinois for radio training.” He later went on to work as a typist.

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