In honor of our veterans
Leroy Brackey is the April Veteran of the Month. Leroy joined the Army, April 20, 1959. He went to Des Moines, where he had his physical and two days later, was sworn in. The following morning, he was headed on a train to U.S. Army Base Fort Carson, Fort Collins, Colo. This is the place he began his eight weeks of basic training.
After basic training, he earned a two-week leave, so he returned to Lake Mills until he received orders to go to Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas. Leroy trained as a medic for eight weeks while at Fort Sam Houston. When his training was complete, he was an Army PFC Medic (level 3).
Then he received orders and flew out to Fort Dix, N.J., where he got on a ship for eight days, before docking in Bremerhaven, Germany. From there, he took a train to a little town near Birkenfeld near the U.S. Army Hospital (USAH)-Neubrucke Army Hospital. Leroy worked in the medical ward with patients who were sick, as it was during peace time.
Leroy said one of his most memorable moments during his two years in the service, was seeing Elvis Presley (the king of Rock and Roll) in the hospital cafeteria. Elvis was a patient at the time and was visiting other GIs.
Leroy enjoyed Army life for the most part, seeing the country, and as long as you followed the rules. Good was good and he made friends. But, he commented also, that he was glad to go and get into the service, but also glad to get out. He said, “You get homesick, you know.”
When discharged, he returned to Lake Mills and started working back at the creamery, where he worked before going into the service.
After Christmas in 1961, Leroy met the love of his life, Sharon Thorson. They dated and ended up getting married the following June. They had three children: Natalie, Lois and Wayne; and four grandchildren: Joe, Samantha, Chris, and Evan.
Your service is greatly appreciated, Leroy.
The Top of Iowa Quilt Club meets the third Monday night of each month. They sew quilts for local veterans from Winnebago County. If you know a veteran that you would like honored, please contact Dave Anderson, Bill Clark, or Robin Grunhovd.