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NCOA looking for local WWII veterans and/or surviving family members


Last updated 10/29/2021 at 10:02am

Courtesy of the National Archives

U.S. Marines take a break on Peleliu Islands in 1944. The NCOA is looking for any WWII veterans or surviving family members to be recognized in an upcoming ceremony.

(NOTE: See updated meeting location in article.)

The Air Academy Chapter of the Non-Commissioned Officers Association (NCOA), which serves Space Force installations in and around Colorado Springs as well as the Air Force Academy and the greater Colorado Springs area, is once again looking for WWII Veterans and/or surviving family members to participate in an upcoming ceremony honoring their service.

In 2004-2014, NCOA's Air Academy chapter presented approximately 550 commemorative medallions to WWII veterans in ceremonies ranging from banquets, POW groups meetings, Korean War Veterans group meetings, wedding anniversary parties and other gatherings. The program ended due to a lack of medallions on Dec. 7, 2014 at the McCandless Colorado Veterans Home in Penrose, Colorado; 34 living WWII veterans were honored at the final ceremony.

However, NCOA recently learned that a stock of medallions in original presentation cases has been released from storage, where they had been held due to legal issues. Consequently, the Air Academy NCOA chapter obtained 20 medallions at the annual NCOA Conference held this July in San Antonio, Texas. At the Air Academy chapter's general meeting in August, members decided to locate and recognize more WWII veterans in a scaled down ceremony at a to-be-determined location in November/December 2021.

Chief Master Sergeant (Retired) Gerald Zoebisch, who ran the 2004-2014 recognition program, has agreed to be point person for this event. He has designed a worksheet that will create a WWII-era biography of each medallion recipient, which will be read when the medallion is presented. If you have a family member, or know a friend or neighbor who is a WWII veteran who would be interested in being recognized for their service, please contact Chief Zoebisch and he will provide the worksheet. Be sure to include contact information so that the recipient can be notified once the date, location and time are established.

To contact Chief Zoebish about an application, call 719-540-9746 or email [email protected] You can also meet him in person by attending NCOA chapter meetings every third Thursday of the month at 5:30 p.m. in the Penrose room at the Peterson Space Force Base Consolidated Club, or by attending monthly meetings every second Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at Western Omelette (16 S. Walnut St. in Colorado Springs).


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