Baldomero Lopez was more than a local hero

When motorists drive past the Baldomero Lopez State Veterans Nursing Home in Land O’ Lakes, chances are they won’t know much about the history of the man for whom the facility is named. That’s where Bill Dotterer comes in. He’s a volunteer with the Tampa Bay History Center and he shared the story of 1st Lt. Baldomero Lopez’s life and his heroic actions during a talk earlier this year at … [Read more...]

Mail call touches veterans on ‘mission’ flight

Everyone likes to get mail. Especially when it includes a sincere thank you, a special drawing or personal thoughts. Honor Flight West Central Florida provides all-expense paid flights for war-era veterans in the Tampa Bay area to visit their memorials in Washington D.C. These “missions” include about 80 World War II, Korean and Vietnam war veterans each time they fly. During the … [Read more...]

Vietnam veteran receives overdue honor

One Vietnam veteran has finally received his long-deserved welcome. The Wesley Chapel Noon Rotary Land O’ Lakes Satellite Club recognized George Voorhes on June 23 as its first recipient of the Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemorative Lapel Pin. Voorhes, 82, retired from the army in 1974, following 20 years of service. He served in the Korean War and had three tours of duty in Vietnam, … [Read more...]

A time to remember military sacrifice

Our nation is preparing to observe Memorial Day, in honor of the men and women who died while serving in the armed forces. The American holiday, which falls on the last Monday of May each year, originally was known as Decoration Day. It began in the years following the Civil War and was declared an official federal holiday in 1971. To mark the holiday weekend, several events and … [Read more...]

A breakfast sandwich, with a side of nostalgia

When Laura Lewis saw the Dunkin’ Donuts going up on U.S. 41, in Lutz, she couldn’t wait until it opened, She wanted to enjoy a bite to eat there, and to reminisce. So, once the shop opened, at 17514 U.S. 41, she and her friend Carolyn Smith headed over there for breakfast. The shop serves hot coffee, iced coffee, hot tea, iced tea, espresso-based drinks, sandwiches, donuts and other … [Read more...]

Korean War spy shares wartime experiences

For nearly 50 years, Eddie Ko didn’t tell a soul about the integral role he played during the Korean War. “Not even my wife or my children,” the now 80-year-old said. But for the past 15 years, the Tampa resident has gladly shared the experiences he had as a 14-year-old spy, helping the United Nations throughout the “Forgotten War.” He began sharing his story in 2002, after he began … [Read more...]

A time-honored tradition to remember those who served

The four men came to Lutz Cemetery on a Saturday morning, with a cool breeze stirring the trees, and the sun shining brightly in the clear blue sky. They got to work quickly, each grabbing a supply of American flags and staking out a segment of the cemetery. The men — Bill Garrison, Ray Mason, Richard Fernandez and Jim Evans — worked their way through the rows of gravestones, looking for … [Read more...]