Cub scouts take time to honor vets
Cub Scout Pack 856 of Castle Pines held a Veterans Day program at its meeting in November.
Article and photo by Kathy Fallert
The cub scout pack meeting held at DCS Montessori (DCSM) on Wednesday, November 6, was not your run-of-the-mill scout gathering. The boys honored veterans with the help of American Legionnaires from Castle Rock and Highlands Ranch. The Veterans Day program was organized by the cub scout leaders along with Castle Pines resident Norb Cygan, representative from American Legion Post 1187 for the Cub Scout Pack 856 of Castle Pines.
The Harry Miller Post 1187 originates from Castle Rock. Harry Miller was a World War II Air Corps sergeant killed over Japan and was originally buried in China. Miller’s mother who was from Castle Rock got President Truman to open up a veteran cemetery in Fort Logan, Colorado so her son could be brought back home.
The cub scouts honored veterans in the audience as well as all veterans. They were also taught a bit about what it means to be a veteran and participated in flag folding ceremonies and flag presentations. The scouts were encouraged to say “Thank you for your service,” whenever meeting a veteran.
Among the veterans in attendance at the meeting was Henry Bohne, recently retired manager of the Douglas County Office of Veteran Affairs. Bohne, veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars served as a “tin can sailor” or Naval destroyer and submarine hunter in the North Atlantic. The tin can ships were very light and maneuverable which also meant a lot of turbulence. Bohne remarked, “I have no need to do those rides at Elitch’s. I did it all in the North Atlantic!”
Other veterans in attendance were Pack Master Bill Hogg, and the commander of the American Legion Post 1187 Richard Haffner, both Marine Corps veterans. Haffner served in Hawaii during the Korean War. His wife jokingly refers to his service as the “battle of Waikiki.” Also present were Jim Albright a code breaker from the Air Force, Dale Erickson a World War II Veteran with over 30 years in the Army, Wayne Best from the Marines, and Jerry Thelander who served in the Navy.
Thelander completed part of his duty in Guantánamo Bay and was involved in retrieving Apollo 7 from the ocean on his aircraft carrier. Cygan, also from the Navy, was initially involved in taking ships out of reserve and then training crews on them, including ally crews from other countries. Cygan later served on minesweeper ships.
The interesting and informative stories from the veterans had the young scouts quite spellbound. Cygan commented, “Notes from the parents and the scout leaders told us that they have never had the kids, even the youngest ones, so calm and interested in a meeting! There was no pushing, shoving, pinching, shouting, squirming, or jumping. They apparently were very involved in the veterans’ history and the flag ceremony. As we say in the Navy ‘bravo zulu!”
For more information about the American Legion, visit www.legion.org.