Part of the role of members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 642 is looking after the veterans in the community, and it is a role they do very well.
Legion members Sharon Chapple, Ladies Auxiliary member Elaine Wilcox and Sgt. at Arms Len Maynard were at Riverview Gardens at Christmas this year to pay a personal visit to one such veteran, Bob Schieman, to bring him presents and some holiday cheer.
A veteran of the Korean War and a Silver Star and Bronze Star recipient, Schieman has two children in Chatham-Kent. Born and raised in Michigan, the veteran met his late wife who was a nurse from Canada one summer on his father’s dock in Marine City, Mich. and “followed her home.”
Part of a famous battle, which was dubbed the Battle of Outpost Harry, Schieman said a movie was actually made about it, when the remote outpost was defended by American troops against 3,600 Chinese soldiers who attempted to overtake it. They were eventually repelled at a great loss of life.
Chapple said she enjoys caring for the veterans and making sure they are comfortable and have visitors. The Ladies Auxiliary of the Legion “adopted” two veterans at Riverview and give them their care and attention.
“Through the Poppy Fund, we try to meet the needs and wants of veterans,” Chapple said. “It’s really nice to get to know them locally.”
She has managed to find 33 veterans in the area that she looks after and makes sure they have gifts and any wants they may have.
Chapple’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by her brethren at Br. 642, as she was recently in the spotlight at the November Honours and Awards Banquet as Legionaire of the Year. Presented the award by Zone Commander Irene Williams, Chapple was praised for her work over the past 12-15 years taking care of veterans at home and at Parkwood, working in the kitchen at the Legion hall and for her fundraising efforts.
Nancy Belanger was given the Legionette of the Year award by the branch ladies auxiliary for her work over the past year.