As the guest speaker at this year's St. Marys Servicemen's Detail banquet, retired Brig. General Murray Neeper began by remarking that, as a community member, he greatly appreciates the services provided by the St. Marys Servicemen's Detail, as well as the other veterans' organizations throughout St. Marys and Elk County.
"They are a dedicated, well-organized and committed group, and since I am a neighbor of Sacred Heart Church, I have seen them and I have heard them countless times every month of the year, in every type of weather, rendering honor to the veterans of our area since I have been here for the past 15 years," Neeper said. "Yesterday, as you all know, the thermometer [read] -5 [degrees] at wake-up time. It wasn't a whole lot warmer than that when at 11:55 a.m. you heard the three volleys for another veteran and his service. Such is the commitment of this group."
Neeper noted that, in addition to the committed individuals making up the Servicemen's Detail, the group also requires the community commitment of their families, businesses and employers.
Neeper added that a lot of military history has transpired since the 1950s when the group was founded.
"A lot of military and social related organizations did not survive the period of the 50s through the 60s through the 70s, so it's a testament to these committed veterans and the community that they have that unbroken history," Neeper said.