RANTOUL — Friday night, several veterans were honored at a dance which wasn’t really a dance but rather, a celebration. That’s exactly how the men and women felt about it.
Dave Overholt worked on nuclear missiles during his service in the Army. Since he’s been back in the U.S., he took on a personal project.
“I take flags that are ready for disposal, and I cut stars off and put them on a little saying,” said Overholt.
He got one when he took off to serve in Germany, so he set out to make his own to honor those who serve.
“They would put them in their pocket when they go out on patrol,” said Overholt. “They thought it was just a little something from home.”
That little something was a big reason why he was honored, along with several other men whose service and accomplishments were applauded.
“Just to show them that we appreciate what they’ve done and we have their back,” said Rob Bross, a member of the Sons of the American Legion.
Bross didn’t serve, but he devotes his time to stand behind those who did. Overholt said he hopes to see more of the younger crowd, like Bross, do what they can to support veterans everywhere.
“Don’t be like a lot of us older guys,” said Overholt. “Stay involved. The veterans’ groups need all the support they can. So if you get out of the service while you’re young, enjoy it.”
Overholt took home the Salute to Service Award. He was nominated along with Gary Wilson, Roy Robert, James Duddleston and Chad Smith. Overholt also serves as the commander of the Urbana Honor Guard.
The proceeds from the USO dance benefited the Salute to Service scholarship program. The scholarship is meant to help local high school students who either want to pursue a career in the military, or enlist once they graduate.