The USO took over one hangar at Clay Army center on Thursday and proceeded to retire a unit's colors and at the same time thank a USO veteran from WWII.
In typical military fashion, the ceremony started at 10 a.m. as the guest of honored arrived. The presentation of the colors was conducted by
Lt. Marc LaPierre, followed by the National Anthem and an invocation led by Phillip
Roy. A welcome and orientation speech was shared by Col. Bret Bracewell and
then the commemoration of the day for 1st Sgt Armand Roy. After the
presentation to Sgt Roy of the 69th Units flags, the ceremony
concluded at 10:30.
The special guest of honor was 1st Sgt. Armand (Ted) Roy a proud member of the Fighting 69th Infantry Division and a second special guest was Julieann Holsten. Julieann White now, was a USO dancer a few years back and traveled the war zones entertaining the troops. She also was honored at the ceremony that was ordered by Maj. Gen Butterworth and conducted by Col. Brent Bracewll.
Armand Roy was born in December 1926. He was an only boy with
three sisters. ( I know that feeling only too well.) At 9 years of age, he lost
his dad. He worked weeknights and weekends to help the family survive. Armand
was drafted in 1944, boot camp and then over to Europe as part of the 69th
ID, traveling through Normandy and up to the Elbe River.
The war ended and he found himself at West Point serving as a
Drill Instructor. Nine years later and with a service connection to the active
and Reserve Army, he retired.
His three sisters were always trying to get him out of service because he was the sole surviving son and the main source of money for the family.
As he tells it, he was glad that never happened. Armand’s son, Phillip, will tell you that his dad is a true Patriot and is a member of America’s greatest generation. To Phillip, Armand is a real hero in all the senses of the word. A saying you might hear come from Armand is: ”The only hard day was yesterday, your greatest day is today and tomorrow is your next opportunity.”
While Armand was on duty in Europe, he wrote regularly and
those notes and letters are priceless memories to both him and the family.
Julieann was honored by the USO for her unending service to
the troops and continued support back home. She was active in 1941-1944 Bond
Drives with USO Camp Shows, entertaining at Service Camps around Missouri and Illinois. As a young lady she traveled with the USO and performed in many of
the areas in the war zones. Julieann Holten who later married Donald White;
performed in USO Camp Shows from 1942 thru 1947. She was in the Pacific, the
European theatre and then back to Japan and Korea.
In 1945, she and the show went to Guam, Manila, Philippine Islands and even crash landed at Nichols Field. In 1946, they crashed into the Japanese ocean and were rescued by fishermen.
Gen. MacArthur requested them to play two shows a day all over the island of Japan.
Julieann and the show performed for the 98th Div. 6th Army, 136th
Infantry, Otsu, 123rd Infantry, Takarazuke, Division Artillery Hq, 310th Bomber
Wing, Takarazuke; and even the Rec. Hall Hq. Bn. 6th Army.
Two great American heroes for sure.