Veterans honored at Geneva care home
Dorothy Lemke Rothwell, at 90, doesn't remember as much about her time in the Army as she used to.
"That was a long time ago," she said Friday.
But she remembers enough to tear up.
"You never knew when you were going to get shot at," Rothwell said of her time as a nurse with evacuation hospitals in Europe during World War II.
Rothwell was one of the veterans honored at a ceremony Friday at Arden Courts of Geneva, where she lives. The facility specializes in caring for people with memory loss. Nineteen veterans live there, including one who was in the Australian armed forces.
Heartland Hospice bestowed pins and certificates, with the help of Rep. Randy Hultgren and Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns.
Rothwell grew up in Aurora and graduated from nursing school at Copley Hospital, then she joined the Army.
Asked what her mother thought of that, she laughed. Had Mom disapproved, "I would not have listened to her anyway," Rothwell said.
When Burns thanked her for her service, she quipped, "Don't thank me. I got myself a nice husband." She met him while both were stationed overseas, she said.
Michael Loughman received two pins, the second being from the federal government. It was issued in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the United States' entry into the Vietnam War.
The ceremony included singing the songs of the five branches of the United States' military.
Navy veterans Norman Bodda and Stanley Brenton enthusiastically sang along when the music therapist started "Anchors Aweigh." And Air Force veteran Loughman stood and saluted when "The U.S. Air Force Song" ("Off we go into the wild blue yonder") started.
"We'll never forget what you've done for us," Hultgren told the veterans.