Honoring their service: Our pleasure – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Honoring their service: Our pleasure

A Memorial Day weekend tradition, Lyndon American Legion Post 125 ensures that flags line the drive at Lyndon Cemetery.

By Geri Schuler

Memorial Day can be rough for some people.  Maybe they lost a loved one in war time, or maybe their loss is more recent. This is where American Legion Post 125, Lyndon, and the Decker family found themselves this Memorial Day.

They had lost a beloved member, volunteer and role model to the people around him and to his family. He was a father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, and a best friend.  They lost Elton Decker at age 86 on May 15, 2019.

Nathan Decker, his grandson who is a fellow Legionnaire and veteran, saw him not just as his grandfather, but his best friend. This past weekend was the first time he didn’t wake up and go out with his grandfather “supervising” him and his family while putting up flags at Vassar Cemetery during Memorial Day weekend.  This was not just hard for his family, but for his friends and fellow post members to not see his loving face on the sidelines or helping with honor guard.

Elton served nearly 40 years with the Kansas Air National Guard.  He was associated with the Korean War, Vietnam War and Desert Shield. He is a lifetime member, assisted in starting, and was a contributor to the Kansas National Guard Museum, at Forbes Field, Topeka.  He was the Senior Crew Chief of the B-57 that can be found at the entrance of Forbes field. He took part in the retrieval of the plane from overseas and assisted in rebuilding it to its current state.

When asked why there was no hesitation in the family’s decision to continue with the flags at Vassar Cemetery, Nathan simply said, “It’s the family tradition.” The tradition will carry on with him, his father and his uncle, with plans to teach his five kids the same qualities to keep this Memorial Day tradition alive.

Post 125 is fortunate to have many members who maintain such traditions. They make sure the flags fly in both Lyndon and Vassar over Memorial Day weekend. They perform a Memorial Day honor guard at three cemeteries, Lyndon, Vassar, and Oak Hill, and join with other posts from Osage County for a shared honor guard at Pomona Dam. In addition, the Lyndon post maintains flags at five cemeteries. All of this happens with the help members of the post, Sons of the American Legion, and Legion Riders.

One of the best ways to describe why they do this was overheard after the last ceremony on Memorial Day, at Quenemo.  As our long day neared the end, a sweet man came and thanked the post for the ceremony and honor guard. He said he had recently lost his father, who had grown up in Quenemo and served in the military. Danny Roush, Post 125 commander, thanked this son of a fellow veteran. Then he said simply that it was our pleasure.

It is truly all of the Legionnaires’ and fellow veterans’ pleasure to honor the fallen, not only in war time, but any who ever fought for our country. We honor our own.

Powered by WordPress