Special to Valley News
The Rotary Club of Murrieta saluted five military veterans for special honors during the 2016 Field of Honor. The veterans were recognized at the club’s annual Veterans Lunch at the Field of Honor in Town Square Park Monday, Nov. 5.and will be honored again at the Patriots Ball which closes the field Saturday, Nov. 12.
“The Field of Honor is all about Heroes, and we humbled by them all. Still, when we called for nominations for our 2016 Heroes, we received a good response from friends, family and acquaintances,” said Mike Stromsoe, Rotary president, “They were each singled out for their ‘Service Above Self.”
Three World War II veterans were among the honorees. Murrieta resident Saul “Berny” Anshen is 96 years old, a Pearl Harbor survivor and a B-24 bomber pilot with 50 bombing missions over Europe. He was a private in Honolulu when Pearl Harbor was attacked; after that, he came back to the States and learned to fly. Anshen was sent to Europe as a B24 pilot with the 15th Air Force. He had 39 years of military service when he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Following active duty service, he worked with Hughes and Lockheed aircraft companies, earned an MA and MBA, and was a business consultant, in addition to numerous other business endeavors.
Richard Harthun was a B-24 gunner and flew 33 missions. On a bombing mission in a B-24 Liberator, he witnessed the atomic blast which leveled Hiroshima Aug. 6, 1945. After the war, he left the Air Force, attended college and taught before spending 30 years working in the insurance business. Still, that early history has come back to him, with his wife’s encouragement to use the detailed diaries he kept during the war, to tell the story of his service. His book, “The Imperfect Lady,” was published in 2013. Richard is 89-year-old and lives in Sun City.
A U.S. Army sergeant, Ed Hustead served in both World War II and the Korean War. As an example of continuing Service Above Self, at 90 years old, Ed serves as commissioner of the Menifee Senior Softball League. He works tirelessly overseeing the league which has more than 100 players, and does all of the scheduling and the website. They play on Tuesdays and Thursday mornings at Wheatfield Park. Once a year, he and his wife, Linda, host a picnic for all of the players and their families.
David F. Barragan is a Retired Sergeant Major from the U.S. Marines. He served more than 27 years, and was involved in combat missions in both Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as serving in North and South America, the Middle East and Asia. Today, David is owner/president of Barragan Corp International, a strategic risk management firm located in Temecula. His passion is helping Marines transition from enlisted to civilian life.
Linda A. Cleary retired in 2014 as a Lieutenant Colonel, United States Air Force Reserve, Nurse Corps. Linda was in the Reserves for 28 years. She started her nursing career as a nursing assistant at Hemet Valley Hospital where she became a registered nurse. Looking for a little excitement she became a commissioned officer at Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino. Her numerous deployments included Desert Storm, Restore Hope, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom plus Hurricanes Iniki, Katrina and Rita. While deployed to Afghanistan she earned a Bronze Star for exemplary service as the Commander of Aeromedical Evacuation. As a registered nurse/flight nurse she saved countless lives and earned numerous medals including the Air Medal and Aerial Achievement Medal. She retired from the 452 Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at March Air Base, Riverside. She and her husband Warren L. Eastman, Colonel, USAF Reserves, reside in Temecula.
The Rotary Club’s Field of Honor is in its eighth year with American flags filling the Town Square Park in Murrieta each around of Veterans Day.
The Rotary Club of Murrieta was chartered April 28, 1992, and serves the City of Murrieta and area. The club is involved in many local area and several international projects in cooperation with Rotary International, which has as its theme “Service Above Self.” For information regarding Rotary membership and more, please visit www.murrietarotary.org.