The year was 1961. The Berlin Wall was created overnight and Army Veteran Carl Woerter was preparing for a Russian invasion. He was in the woods, approximately 50 miles from Berlin, waiting for four days for the Russians to come.
“We were given live ammunition, C-rations,” said Woerter. “We had atomic warheads in the canons. We thought war was going to break out.”
Fortunately, war did not break out with the Russians as was feared and Woerter was able to return to his barracks.
Nonetheless, his courage to fight for America in spite of harrowing obstacles is deserving of honor.
Eighty-one-year-old Carl Woerter was one of around 20 veterans who were recognized for their service at the Veteran’s Day Tribute at the SCV Senior Center Friday.
Army Veteran and Chair of the Senior Center Veterans Club Bernie Katz, 84, has organized the event multiple times and is honored by getting another year to do so.
“This is something we’re doing to honor veterans all over the world, including myself,” said Katz.
The ceremony kicked off with a recital of the Pledge of Allegiance and Star-Spangled Banner from Katz’s six-year-old grandson, John Robert Duncan. This was Duncan’s first time singing those patriotic songs in front of a live audience according to his mom.
The audience was also graced with a trumpet performance from Air Force Veteran Bob Danis, 85. He has performed at five other Veterans Day services at the Senior Center and always looks forward to the opportunity.
“I enjoy it and the crowd seems to enjoy it,” he said.
Danis was then joined by John Swinford on the piano in the performance of military-themed songs in honor of each branch of the American military.
Army Veteran Chuck Morris, the SCV Senior Center Senior of the Year, was also recognized at the event as he stood in front of the audience beside Bernie Katz, right where everyone could see him.
Although, when asked what his most unique experience in the military was, Morris puts on a more somber tone.
“I was able to come home,” he said.
The Senior Center dining room was packed for the event with around 200 people in attendance to recognize the veterans.
“I feel everyone should be honored,” said Katz