IRON MOUNTAIN - U.S. Army Colonel Vance Visser, commander of the 48th Chemical Brigade at Fort Hood, Texas, was one of the main speakers at the Military Appreciation Dinner held at Pine Grove.
The brigade mission is to deploy and conduct operations in support of combatant commanders or other governmental agencies to counter chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high yield explosive (CBRNE) threats.
Col. Visser began his Army service in 1984 as a Distinguished Military Graduate from Vanderbilt University ROTC Program. He served in Operation Desert Storm, and in Operation Iraqi Freedom I.
U.S. Army Colonel Vance Visser, left, greets Cornelius Van Beek of Iron Mountain at the Military Appreciation Dinner at Pine Grove.
In attendance at the event was Cornelius Van Beek of Iron Mountain.
Van Beek, 93, fought in World War II under General Patton.
He moved through Normandy, France, one week following the Normandy Invasion so he saw the destruction first-hand.
Van Beek served from 1941-1945. He was a sergeant and served as a medic in the unit of the 182 Field Artillery Division.
Van Beek was born in Sarona, Wis.
Following the military, Van Beek was employed as a warden at the Wisconsin Central State Hospital in Waupun. He retired in 1975.
He has been married to Monona Van Beek for the past 70 years.
He has lived in Iron Mountain for the past 12 years, and Pembine, Wis., for 8 years prior to that.
Van Beek and his two brothers served during World War II. His older brother John gave his life in Italy in 1941 during the fighting. He received the purple heart. Van Beek still has it in his possession.
Van Beek is very patriotic and believes in our country.