Happy Fourth of July

In memory of many, in honor of all, thank you. Harbor Hills raised the flag and celebrated July 4 with a golf outing and cookout. Independence Day brings to mind something we seniors know all too well: freedom is not free. Today and every day, we are grateful for our veterans’ service and sacrifice.

Steve Hritz served in the Air Force for thirty 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 Airforce Base. He retired as a colonel. The thirty-year military career of retired Army Col. John E. Bircher III included intelligence officer and Middle East foreign area specialist assignments. John served in Vietnam with Special Forces and was awarded the Purple Heart.

No reference to Harbor Hills veterans is complete without mention of two who have passed away. The World War II service of Air Force Brig. Gen. Bill Wilcox 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. Bill McKillop flew planes in Korea as a member of U.S. Marine Corps Aviation. As the Korean War ended, he served as both a squadron pilot and air controller. McKillop left active duty in 1955.

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

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