Theater group honors local veterans

The Voice Activated Readers Theater Group coaxed history into the present Friday at Spring Lake District Library.
Marie Havenga
Nov 12, 2011

The five-member group, founded by Spring Lake Township resident Linda Bengston, read accounts of military history to a crowd of about 30, many who arrived in wheelchairs or with walkers.

World War II Navy veteran Shirley Ott said the 50-minute presentation brought back a lot of memories for her.

“I worked in a hospital with vets that were bombed in Pearl Harbor,” Ott said. “They were all in wheelchairs without arms or legs. They were the best patients. They never complained, even after all they had been through.”

The troupe took turns relaying military history, hitting on topics such as the tomb of the unknowns, the use of animals in war, rationing, military acronyms and notable quotes.

Army vet Anton Madl of Robinson Township attended Friday's performance.

“I knew some of that stuff,” Madl said after the show. “They did a great job. I'm kind of a history buff on that stuff. My parents came over from Austria. My dad got out of the country right before World War I started. He was kind of slick to get out of there. He bought a farm in Robinson Township and that's where I was raised.”

Fred Hodges of the Alvin Yonker VFW Post 2326 in Grand Haven played “Taps” during the ceremony as part of the honor guard.

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