Veterans honored at Geneva care home

  • Army Air Corps veteran William Kramer listens as taps is played during a pinning ceremony Friday to honor veterans at Arden Courts of Geneva, a memory care facility. Kramer was on a crew that flew 80 transport missions over the Himalayas during World War II.

    Army Air Corps veteran William Kramer listens as taps is played during a pinning ceremony Friday to honor veterans at Arden Courts of Geneva, a memory care facility. Kramer was on a crew that flew 80 transport missions over the Himalayas during World War II. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Rep. Randy Hultgren gives a certificate to Army Air Corps veteran William Kramer during a pinning ceremony to honor veterans Friday at Arden Courts of Geneva.

    Rep. Randy Hultgren gives a certificate to Army Air Corps veteran William Kramer during a pinning ceremony to honor veterans Friday at Arden Courts of Geneva. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Air Force Vietnam War veteran Michael Loughman salutes as "The U.S. Air Force Song" is played during a pinning ceremony Friday to honor veterans at Arden Courts of Geneva.

    Air Force Vietnam War veteran Michael Loughman salutes as "The U.S. Air Force Song" is played during a pinning ceremony Friday to honor veterans at Arden Courts of Geneva. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Navy veteran Stanley Brenton watches the color guard pass during a pinning ceremony to honor veterans at Arden Courts of Geneva.

    Navy veteran Stanley Brenton watches the color guard pass during a pinning ceremony to honor veterans at Arden Courts of Geneva. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns has a good time talking with Army veteran Dorothy Lemke Rothwell during a pinning ceremony Friday to honor veterans at Arden Courts of Geneva.

    Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns has a good time talking with Army veteran Dorothy Lemke Rothwell during a pinning ceremony Friday to honor veterans at Arden Courts of Geneva. Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 11/11/2016 8:35 PM

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.

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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.

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