RMA Plaque Donated to Armed Forces
The 2009 federal government's Cash for Clunkers program brought a historic WWII plaque out of the woodwork and into the hands of Gene Shalander, Sr., historian for the Roosevelt Military Academy Rough Riders Association. The plaque has been restored and was given to the Aledo Police Benevolent Association, to be included in a new Armed Forces Memorial Park.
Aledo Police Benevolent Association member Nick Seefeld approached the City County Monday, July 18, to show the plaque to the city council members. Four former RMA cadets who visited Aledo that day--Lloyd Young, Sr, RMA RR president, Gene Shalander, Sr., historian, Bob Kramer, 2012 reunion organizer, and Jack Gwynne, vice president of RMA RR.
The plaque includes names of RMA alumni who perished during WWII.
RMA RR Assn. members will also be participating in the Armed Forces Memorial Park brick sale, according to Vice President Gwynne. He estimated that former cadets and teachers would probably be purchasing around 100. "We're anticipating a very healthy response," said Gwynne.
Gwynne gave a brief history of what they knew about the plaque which was removed from campus in 1973 when RMA closed and taken to the home of Col. Glen Millikan, superintendent of the school from 1943-1973
In 1988 Glen Millikan gave the plaque to one of his sons. Sometime after than the memorial disappeared, only to reappear in 2009 in Myrtle Beach, SC, through the clunker program and an observant Vietnam Veteran named John Litchner. Litchner went on the Internet and found the RMA historian. Shalander offered to go and pick up the memorial, but Litchner drove it down to Shalander's Florida home.
Plans are by Veterans Day to have the Armed Forces Memorial dedicated. It is located near the VFW Hall in Aledo (on the site of the former water tower).
The pavers will be made available to prior service men and women and any former Roosevelt Military Academy Cadets with their name, unit and years of service engraved on the paver. The park will also include pavers sold to area businesses and organizations who would like to be a sponsor for the park with their business logo engraved on the paver.
The park will consist of a demilitarized Howitzer, the American flag, the State flag, the POW flag, and it will be professionally landscaped. Proceeds from the sale of these pavers will benefit the Aledo Police "Shop with a Hero" program, the Aledo Police Department Scholarship Program, and also will assist area schools and the Mercer County Senior Citizen Center with education needs and equipment.
--excerpted from the July 27, 2011 issue of the Aledo Times Record