Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

Honoring our Veterans

 

Penny Merryfield

The entrance wall above the door entering Pine Bowl displays many items in honor of our United States military veterans.

Honoring our military veterans is done in many ways, and shown in many different forms. Flags, ribbons, patches and stickers display a form of thank you, pride in and a legion to our veterans. This honor is bestowed to all that have served and in every branch of service.

In the town of Pine Bluffs, there are a couple of well known veteran displays. The Pine Bluffs Memorial Park on Main Street is the newest one and recently held a dedication for the "wall" 'America the Beautiful' with Governor Mead, Senator Barrasso, and others. However, there is another one, that perhaps is not as well known or even why it appeared.

Approximately seven years ago, a couple of members of the American Legion Post 60 started a bowling league for every other Friday night. This league was appropriately named Friday Va Mixed League. "Forming this league, gave some of us veterans something to do, have fun and socialize as well." said cofounder, Chuck Radcliffe. The other founders were Buzz and Kathy Canaday, and Jo Radcliffe.

Once the league was underway, a discussion was held with Jim Zitek, Pine Bowl owner, about displaying some veteran items. Zitek thought it was a great idea, and donated wall space for the display.

"Many of my customers are veterans, and it is a way for us to thank them for their service." Zitek said.

Little bit by little bit items came in and Jared Zitek took the task at hand to arrange the display. The first original display has since been redone as new items came in, and two years ago J. Zitek re-designed the wall to what it is today.

As one enters the bowling alley, as they pass the game room if they look up they will see the wall as they pass through the door to main area of the bowling alley. There are hats with every branch of service on the hat displayed, which were donated to the wall by Buzz Canady and Chuck Radcliffe. Below the hats are several motorcycle helmets with military insignia displayed as well. The helmets were donated by Herb Walker.

Another item donated is an United States of America flag that was flown overseas in the middle east and is pictured with the helicopter crew and soldiers that flew it. This was donated by Jared Zitek for the wall.

In the center is a framed photograph of the "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima" an iconic photograph taken by Joe Rosenthal on February 23, 1945. Above the photograph is an older style American Legion Post 60 hat, and the current style. These were donated by the American Legion Post 60.

Penny Merryfield

United States of America Flag flown overseas and the crew that flew it. Donated by Jared Zitek

Off to the left is a U.S. Veteran cross and flag, also donated by the American Legion Post 60.

To the left of the photograph, placed in a frame by J. Zitek is a World War II Army uniform from the 3rd Armor Division that belonged to Wilbur Radcliffe. He is the father of Chuck Radcliffe, cofounder of the VA bowling league and a veteran himself.

Other veterans and their families have given items to the display as well, as military coins that are on display in some of the display cases in the bowling alley.

"Many people have served, and while some of our veterans prefer to remain silent about their service time, and experiences, a respectful nod can be seen as some enter the bowling alley." said one veteran who wished to remain anonymous.

"We thank all the men and women who have served our country." stated Jim Zitek.

 

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