For Immediate Release: Leo High School site of Veterans Observance on Friday, November 9th, 2007
Contact - Mr. Pat Hickey -Director of Development (773) 224-9600
Leo High School, Leo Alumni Association, Windy City Veterans, The Burbank, Illinois Unit of the Marine Corps League, The Veterans Leadership Program, American Legion Giles Post #87, & Chicago Commission on Human Relations will hold a special Veterans Memorial Observance at the Leo War Memorial in the school’s courtyard. , Leo High School President Robert W. Foster & Vice Principal Frank Wilson (USMC ret.) will direct the observance which features presentations by Veterans, wreath - laying by Richard Furlong, President of the Alumni Association , Mrs. Rochelle Crump - Veteran and Asst. Director for the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services.
Sadly - The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs no longer participates in this Annual Veterans Observance. In August, when we begin the planning for the event, Director Duckworth's Office informed Leo High School that 'the Director had other plans for that date and that Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs would not be participating.' When I called for follow-up I asked, 'Leo High School can expect no help from Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs?' and was told ' good luck with your event.' It is not mine - this event belongs to the Veterans.
It is the Veterans who make this event special.
Leo High School erected a memorial in 1965 to the many Leo men who have died serving America in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam and the Windy City Veterans of Chicago updated the engraved names and constructed permanent lighting for the memorial. Last year more than two hundred persons joined the 320 Leo students in honoring America’s war fallen.
John Fardy (Leo 1940) was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic sacrifice during World War II. Mr. John Houlihan (Leo ‘41) served in the Marine Corps as did Mr. Dick Prendergast and twenty (20) more of his classmates from the Class of ‘43. Many Leo men have been decorated for heroism, including Mr. Jim Farrell (Leo ‘61), Mr. Jack Farnan, (Leo ‘63), and Mr. Jim Furlong ( Leo ‘65), all members of the Leo Hall of Fame and highly decorated Vietnam Veterans. The late Mr.Thomas Stack (Leo ‘61) organized the first welcome home to the Veterans of Vietnam. Mr.Tom Stack won two Silver Stars and three Bronze Stars in Vietnam.
Another highly decorated Vietnam Veteran, Gen. George Muellner, USAF (ret.) graduated from Leo, flew more than 600 combat fighter missions, commanded many fighter commands, and developed the STAR communications weapon system for Operation Desert Storm. Gen. Muellner is now the VP for Boeing Corporation’s Stealth Projects. Chicago Police Officer Eric Lee ( USMC) was killed in the line of duty several years ago and is remembered in Leo High School's Hall of Fame.
The Veterans Memorial Observance, as always, will be held in the school courtyard located on 79th Street.
The Public is invited to share in this Observance.
Click on my Post Title for More on the Leo Alumni and Leo High School!