Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bill Field, known countywide, will certainly be missed

Bill Field, right, was known countywide as a tireless worker for veterans.
 (Herald file photo)
The death of American Legion Post 24 commander Bill Field in a traffic crash Monday morning was a huge loss to the veterans community and Manatee County.

"The community lost a great patriot," retired Col. Fred Graves told me in an email this morning.

We also heard from retired Army Lt. Col. Lee Kichen, who has helped literally thousands of veterans over the years.

"He was a great one. He was once Manatee County Veteran of the Year, but he was really Veteran of the Decade," Kichen said of the hard-working man who led a post 1,200 members strong.

"The irony is that he survived some really bitter fighting in Korea. They should name a school after him," Kichen said.

Scotty Blomeley, a veteran of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, remembered Bill Field as a tremendous leader at Post 24, who not only built the post membership, but personally tended to the little and big details such as cooking, gardening, mowing, maintenance and more.

Blomeley recalled visiting local schools with Field to share their war time experiences.

"I never saw a kid fall asleep," Blomeley said. "I am gonna miss him. He was a wonderful friend."

Marty Leise advises that a memorial for Bill will be held at the American Legion Post 24, 2000 75th St. W.,  Bradenton, at 2 p.m.  Friday, Jan. 11, with a luncheon to follow.

For more, http://www.bradenton.com/2013/01/07/4342386/american-legion-post-commander.html

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