Army Vets and soloist equal Wertz brothers four
PICTURE ROCKS – Singing “God Bless the USA,” the voice of Timothy Wertz filled the sanctuary at Picture Rocks Baptist Church on Sunday afternoon November 9 during a tribute honoring veterans.
In addition to being “Proud to be an American,” the soloist is also proud of his three brothers who came to the event. Richard, Dale and Samuel Wertz collectively served in the Army over a period of six years from 1964-1970.
The Montgomery natives are the four surviving sons among the eight children of James and Alberta (Clark) Wertz. Dale, currently of South Williamsport and Samuel of Allenwood saw action in Vietnam. Richard resides in Sunbury and Timothy, the only non-veteran, resides in Hughesville.
The Wertz brothers were among more than two dozen veterans recognized and given mementos as the audience sang hymns from each service branch. The branches were represented as follows: Marines, 4; Navy, 3; Army,13 and Air Force, 5.
Dignitaries included Representative Garth Everett, Senator Gene Yaw and David Keene, Assistant Director of the Lycoming County Office of Veteran’s Affairs.
Everett announced that he and Senator Yaw are working to establish a county Veterans Transition Center. “Veterans need a support group,” he said. He also said that to help veterans, “An incubator for business start-ups patterned after one in Chicago are being implemented in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.”
Sharing statistical information, Keene reported that “In the U.S., Pennsylvania has the fourth largest veteran population with 12,000 presently in Lycoming County. Last year, 20 vets who were either homeless or next to homelessness, came to our office. We are always available to guide them to whatever services they need.”
Two quotes were among remarks made by Senator Yaw. The first is credited to former President Ronald Reagan who said, “Wars begin when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.” Yaw added that former President John Kennedy said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to udder words, but to live by them.”
Additional soloists during the tribute service included Jan Bryan-Davis and Rebekah Gordner. The organist and event planner was Patricia McClain Shreiner, a veteran’s daughter.
The service concluded with the following prayer which was read in unison, “Let us never forget all those who have fought for America. Today, may our United States soldiers and sailors, both here and abroad, be led by Your guiding light, and uphold the freedom that has been passed down and defended for more than two centuries. Amen.”