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Recently, I had the honor to visit with Al Wear. Al is 95 years of age living in Grand Junction at a nursing home. While we have lost most of our World War II veterans, Al, and his brother, George, are still living.
Al is the only surviving charter member who formed our Meeker VFW Post No. 5843 after World War II.
Al played trumpet in the Meeker High School Band, having been graduated in 1939. He then moved to attend junior college in Ventura, Calif. He marched in their band at the Rose Bowl for two years.
Al then went into the United States Army to play in one of the Army bands, and he headed to Europe at the beginning of WWII.
Due to the needs of the service, the band members’ instruments were placed into storage and the troops were reassigned to various infantry units.
Al worked with medics and was in the middle of action across Europe until the war ended, with his unit linking with the Russians on the Elbe, east of Leipzig.
His band was reformed after the end of hostilities, and they played at an American/Russian victory parade and in Heidelberg for General George Patton’s memorial service, for Patton died of heart failure on Dec. 21, 1945.
Al’s one-year-older brother, George Wear, also fought in World War II, as well as Korea and Vietnam, retiring as a general. He is also still living.
Al wanted to be sure that we knew he was the last living charter member of our VFW post.
We owe much to the “Greatest Generation,” which fought in World War II and to all other veterans who have served our nation and given so much.
Please remember these sacrifices as we continue to enjoy our freedoms.
Meeker VFW Post No. 5843