Saturday, October 23, 2004

Time takes toll on rifle squad

Good Things Happening

Allen Howard

Joe Haeckl, 84, usually arrives walking with a cane. George Stone, 80, comes in his wheelchair.

Several others complained of bad backs and aching feet, prompting Thomas Newman to mumble, "Those aching pains are breaking up that old gang of mine.''

This was a veteran rifle squad, firing its last shot into history, last Wednesday.

American Legion Post 437 Rifle Squad held its final meeting last week. The squad, shown with spouses and the widows auxiliary at the Clearview Tavern in Delhi Township, includes veterans from World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Newman, commander of the Rifle Squad of the American Legion Post 437, presided over the last meeting of the group at the Clearview Tavern in Delhi.

"We are just too old to cut the mustard anymore,'' said Newman, 80. The group of about 16 or 18 is made up of mostly World War II and a few Korean War veterans, Newman said.

"Most of us just cannot get around very well. Some of the women who support us have had hip replacements. It is time for us to disband.''

Wednesday's meeting was a little emotional.

"Some of the women cried,'' said Newman, referring to widows of the late members of the group.

"We said a prayer for them and played taps. The final curtain is coming down on us. We are meeting to see about merging with another post,'' Newman said.

Newman has been the commander for about 22 years. He can talk about the days they were there as color guards to fire their rifles at funerals and memorial services. They marched in parades and were a permanent fixture at the Hamilton County Annual Memorial Day parade.

Math tutoring offered

Students in grades two through six can get help in math through a free service called Math Discovery, a tutoring program offered by the Women's Connection in collaboration with Elder High School's Tech-Reach.

The program is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3-5 p.m. or 4-6 p.m. Students must be referred by schools. To register or receive referral information, contact Ann Hunt at the Women's Connection at (513) 471-4673.

The Women's Connection is a non-profit neighborhood center in Price Hill offering educational and enrichment opportunities for women, children and families.

Tech-Reach is a community-based technology program.

Psychiatrist honored

For his devotion to children's health care, child psychiatrist Dr. Richard E. Wolf has been named Emeritus Trustee of Babies' Milk Fund Pediatric Care.

He has supported the organization since 1940, when he became assistant medical director of what was then the Babies' Milk Fund Association. Wolf served as president from 1957 to '59, and associate medical director from 1970 to '84.

Wolf established the Child Psychiatry Department at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

Babies' Milk Fund provides care for about 8,500 area children of low-income families.

Helping ex-offenders

The Rev. Damon Lynch III has a solution for ex-offenders who cannot find a job: Hire yourself.

The Over-the-Rhine minister is preparing for Back on the Block Ex-Offender Business Expo from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday at New Prospect Baptist Church, 1829 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, where he is pastor.

"We are telling ex-offenders we understand the employment problems you are having. The answer is to hire yourself," Lynch said. "Some people don't realize that many ex-offenders already operate their own business and they typically hire other ex-offenders. We therefore help create job opportunities for ex-offenders while helping someone establish businesses."

Lynch said one of the biggest obstacles ex-offenders face is finding a job.

"The purpose of the expo is to bring information and resources directly to ex-offenders to assist them in starting and growing their own businesses," Lynch said.

The Ohio Small Business Development Center, Greater Cincinnati Microenterprise Initiative, the City of Cincinnati's Small Business Development Center and the church are sponsors of the event.

Juleana Frierson, executive director of City of Hope, said organizers expect the expo to draw as many as 200 people.

"It could very well double that figure because people are really looking for something to do," Frierson said. "We will not turn anyone away."

She said a $5,000 grant, provided by the sponsors, would be given away to help fund a business start-up or expansion.

For more information, call 362-2713.

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