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A Lifetime of Service

by Kate Enos

As Veteran's Day nears, we look to honor those of the "Greatest Generation" who so valiantly served our country during World War II. Today, these heroes are still serving today – tutoring and mentoring at-risk youth, serving veteran and military families, and helping fellow seniors stay independent in their own homes. These WWII veterans continue to inspire others through their selflessness and will to continue service to our country.

Vern Truemper, 89, enlisted in the Army Air Corps, now known as the US Air Force, in 1942 during World War II. In 1945, he was ordered to Paris with the 367 Fighter Group, supporting Patton's 4th Armored Division until the end of the war. He received orders to be ready to be dispatched to Okinawa for an invasion of Japan. While there, the atomic bomb was dropped and the war came to an end.

"I was always nervous around takeoff but once you got airborne, you forget all about it," said Truemper. "You see some of your buddies go down and realize it could happen to you. I had to crash land once but I made it back to the base safely."

After retiring as a chemical engineer for DuPont, Truemper looked to give back to his community and became an RSVP volunteer through RSVP of Clinton County, where more than 270 senior volunteers serve locally in Clinton County.

Established in 1971 and now one of the largest senior volunteer organizations in the nation, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program engages more than 400,000 people age 55 and older in a diverse range of volunteer activities. RSVP is one of three Senior Corps volunteer programs administered nationwide by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Truemper is the lead volunteer on the Income Tax Assistance Programs for low income individuals. He has been instrumental in transitioning the program to the digital side, training fellow volunteers on becoming familiar with computers.

"RSVP has kept me active and engaged, providing me a way to give back to my community," said Truemper.

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