The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Letters to the Editor

June 5, 2014

Father deserves honor

Father deserves honor

Editor:

I nominated my father the late Leo Siefert to the Wall of Honor at Bailey Academy in Danville. One requirement was two references to verify information. I referred Vermilion County Museum Society and my brother Broc Siefert who served with our father in Vietnam. The committee contacted the museum but didn‘t contact Broc. This is reminiscent of applying for a job, not having references contacted only to discover that the job was previously filled.

Siefert joined the Illinois Army National Guard in 1938. In his senior year his unit was called to active duty. He fought in the Pacific Theater where he received a battlefield commission to second lieutenant. Siefert reentered the Army in 1949 assigned to the 187th Airborne. He led his platoon in a fierce bayonet assault against enemy forces in South Korea, securing the objective and awarded the Silver Star. In 1952, Capt. Siefert became a member of the 1st Special Forces assigned to U.N. infantry where he advised irregular forces conducting guerilla warfare operations behind enemy lines.

Postwar he became the local Army recruiter. He retired, accepting a position of assistant county probation officer. In 1968 he volunteered for Vietnam, where he performed civic action projects in local Vietnamese villages. Returning, he became the township weed commissioner and Illinois Job Service manager. Siefert’s community accomplishments are foster parenting, union president, several veteran, political and church organizations.

I felt Dad would be an inspiration to students, having grown up dirt poor and joining the service to help support his family during the Depression. He devoted his life to the service of others. I believe he was disregarded being working class, pro-labor and unable to donate an enormous amount of money.

Kevin Siefert

Danville

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