Two Mount Ayr residents recently were honored guests at a Spirit of '45 ceremony honoring veterans of World War II.
Dailey and Amon Hunt were among over 300 in attendance at the ceremony held August 16 at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery near Van Meter.
In honor of all
World War II veteran, the Iowa Department of Veteran Affairs conducted a special wreath laying ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the
end of the war.
Dailey, 94, served as a Pharmacist's Mate First Class in the Navy in the South Pacific and was an E6 (staff sergeant) in the Army in the
surgery department, where he did "everything but the cutting" for about 30 months.
When the war ended, he was on a train heading back to Iowa from
California on furlough - the first time he'd come home in three years.
Hunt was a scout in the Army's 169th Infantry Regiment and went to war just seven
days after marrying his wife. He served in New Guinea, Manila and the Philippines and was in the Philippine mountains when the war ended.
He was loaded
on a boat that took him to Japan, where he was supposed to be part of the military police but was sick most of the time with malaria and jungle rot. He
received a Bronze Star [page 2] for carrying a soldier off the mountains. He also received a Combat Infantry Badge.
The event was sponsored jointly by
the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs, McLaren's Resthaven Chapel and HCI Hospice Care Services.
Dailey has been an HCI Care Services volunteer
since 2010. He was so grateful to the dedicated staff and volunteers who provided such wonderful care to his beloved wife of 62 years and support to the
family that he felt compelled to give back to others by becoming a hospice volunteer.
Dailey was recognized as one of the HPCAI's (Hospice and Palliative
Care Association of Iowa) volunteers of the year in 2012.
Dailey spends his days honoring fellow vets and helping them find peace at life's end through
HCI Hospice Care Services' Veteran-to-Veteran program.
He was one of HCI's first Vet-to-Vet volunteers and has honored nearly 50 fellow veterans in
the Mount Ayr area through HCI Hospice Care Services' veteran pinning ceremonies.
Hunt is one of the veterans whom Dailey supports through HCI.
32 percent of the more than 150 Veterans served by HCI Hospice Care Services so far this year are WWWII Vets.
As part of the day's activities, Dailey
was also featured as an "Iowan to Know" on WOI-TV Channel 5.
Photograph courtesy of Mount Ayr Record-News
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, September of 2015