The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

August 17, 2013

William Schwertfeger gets big thumbs up for induction into Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame


Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Thumbs up to the inspirational story of retired Lt. Col. William R. Schwertfeger.

The man was born in Enid, raised in Grant County and trained at Vance Air Force Base. He spent 407 days in a notorious place he never wanted to stay: the “Hanoi Hilton” prisoner of war camp.

Schwertfeger was subjected to rope torture, but faith helped him endure the ordeal.

“You’ll never know what freedom tastes like until you’ve lost it,” Schwertfeger said.

Those are wise words. Schwertfeger is one of 10 Oklahoma veterans who will be inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame on Nov. 9.

Thank you for your inspirational service.



More thumbs up for an innovative fundraising effort south of Enid.

Proceeds from the Waukomis Sooner Celebration 5K Run Aug. 24 likely will go toward capital improvements at Waukomis Cemetery. Organizers are even considering a veterans memorial there.

Louise Milacek, co-director of the 5K Run committee, is putting out a call for area runners to take part in this year’s run, which will be going on at the Waukomis Sooner Celebration.

We appreciate your efforts to improve this community.



Thumbs up to George Oller, the official Cooperative Weather Observer for Billings.

For four decades, he’s checked three temperature readings — high, low and current — and any rainfall, recorded the information and phoned it in to the National Weather Service.

Oller recently was honored for 40 years of service.

Congrats for your tremendous public service to the citizens of Billings, the state of Oklahoma and the nation, by providing accurate and timely weather data.



Last, but not least, thumbs up for the eighth annual Tour de Trykes and third annual Twilight Criterium held Saturday in Enid.

The event included a two-mile family ride, as well as 14-, 26- and 42-mile rides and a 100-kilometer race.

Tour De Trykes was started by Enid Noon AMBUCS, and proceeds go to the purchase of AmTrykes, physical therapist scholarships, building handicapped ramps, supporting the Miracle League and improvements at ABC Park.

A big thanks to everyone involved with this great annual event!