by Dennis Dalman
Jerome Supan, a U.S. Army veteran, was recently honored by the St. Stephen Post 221 American Legion at a Legion meeting April 5.
Supan, now in his 80s, is the first recipient of a monthly honors meeting for veterans. The tributes will take place at the The Rusty Nail bar-and-restaurant in St. Stephen. That is the place where the American Legion meets because it does not have a building of its own.
Supan, who still lives in St. Stephen, served in Germany in 1957. He has been a member of the American Legion-St. Stephen for 48 years, has been a Color Guard member all of that time, the Legion chaplain for 15 years and is known for always selling the most tickets during Legion fundraisers.
Supan, now retired, worked for many years on road construction projects. He and his wife, Dolores, have two children – daughter Cheryl Lovitz and son Jeff – as well as several grandchildren.
Legion member Leo Supan, a first cousin of Jerome Supan once removed, explained the Veteran of the Month honors meetings. Leo was a member of the U.S. Air Force from 1984 to 1993, having served in Florida, Colorado and in Germany at the Kapaun Air Station. He is now regional director of Honeywell Smart Energy.
Members of the Legion’s Membership Committee decided recently to honor a veteran each month.
“A lot of us veterans are getting up in age,” said Leo Supan. “So we decided to honor a veteran every month, and we’re also hoping this will help get more veterans to join the Legion. We did get a few new ones lately, but we’d like to have a lot more.”
There are currently 60-plus members of the American Legion-St. Stephen. Most of them, Supan noted, are veterans of the Vietnam War era.
Next month’s honoree will be Joe Raab, a 96-year-old World War II veteran. The party/ceremony will take place at the Legion’s regular monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 3.
The American Legion-St. Stephen meets at 7:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month at the The Rusty Nail. Anyone interested in joining can just show up at a meeting.