Harbor Hills will raise the flag and celebrate the 4th of July with a golf outing and an all-American cookout. Independence Day brings to mind something we seniors know all too well: freedom is not free. We remain profoundly grateful for the service and sacrifice of our veterans.

Neighbor Steve Hritz served in the USAF for 30 years. During the Vietnam War, Steve flew C-130 Hercules transports out of Clark Air Base in the Philippines. He later flew tactical airlift C-130’s and was an exchange pilot for the RAF. Other assignments included command of the 375th Flying Training Squadron at Scott AFB. Steve retired with the rank of colonel. The 30 year military career of friend John E. Bircher III, COL, USA (Ret.) included intelligence officer and Middle East foreign area specialist. John served in Vietnam with Special Forces where he was awarded the Purple Heart.

No reference to Harbor Hills veterans is complete without mention of two beloved veterans who have passed away. The WWII service of Brig. Gen. Bill Wilcox, USAF included command positions in Europe, North Africa and China. Wilcox flew 75 combat missions, logging more than 4,400 flying hours. His Distinguished Flying Cross was one of many medals. He is greatly missed by our community. Bill McKillop flew planes in Korea as a member of the USMC Aviation. As the Korean War came to a close, he served as both a squadron pilot and air controller. McKillop left active duty in 1955. As a commercial pilot, he flew for Pan American and United for 41 years.

The Harbor Hills Garden & Women’s Club sells engraved bricks to pay tribute to veterans, past and present. The bricks surround our Veteran’s Memorial Park. Contact Club President Shirle Mabie at shirlemabie@gmail.com to honor your veteran.

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