In 2016 the Greene-Dreher Historical Society launched its Veterans History Project to document the military service of all veterans with ties to the Greene-Dreher community. Men and women are eligible for inclusion in the Project if they ever resided or attended school here, or if they are buried in one of our cemeteries. Through the generous participation of veterans and their families and descendants, we have identified nearly 1000 local veterans to date. The letters, diaries, photographs and memorabilia related to their service show their sacrifices and bring their stories to life in a personal way. Several veterans participated in our oral history program over the years, and many of those personal narratives were published in our journal, The Greene Hills of Home. More recently, biographies of our World War I veterans have been compiled in a book, Greene-Dreher in the Great War, by Bernadine Lennon. A selection of veterans’ stories will be featured here.
Richard Dunning on Serving in the 102nd Infantry in World War II
In 2011 Dick Dunning recorded his memories of serving the 102nd Infrantry Division in Europe in WWII. When America entered the war he felt he should "get in and help." He enlisted in the Army in early 1942. "We started in Holland and didn't stop until we saw Berlin burning."
Lt. Nellie Marsch—Army Nurse in the Pacific Theater
Nellie Marsch served aboard the USS Hope, a Hospital Ship that sailed 51,000 miles, carried a total of 8,400 patients, and remained in a war zone for practically its entire existence from 1944 to 1946. Lt. Col. Marsch recalled her service during World War II in this 1989 memoir.
LaAnna Man Remembers Landing at Omaha Beach
Wet, terrified and waiting for the H-hour, Paul Burke of LaAnna sat in a D-Day landing craft not knowing whether he would live or die. The story begins, not on the H-hour, but eight minutes before, as waves hit the landing craft, explosions rang through the air and the men were silent.
Capt. William Haffner, Civil War Veteran
Hadassa Whitney, 3rd great-grandniece of William Haffner, researched her uncle’s military service during the Civil War. She was “almost tingling with amazement” at how the dates related to Captain Haffner dovetailed with the larger story of his Regiment, and how the rich backstory of his unit brought his service to life.