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VFW and American Legion hold induction ceremony

  • A tearful John Metzger, right, gets a hug from Maureen Sanders following a standing ovation Metzger received in honor of his service. After 22 years of giving in one form or another, Metzger is stepping away from his official duties at the Benton American Legion. See more photos on page 10.

    A tearful John Metzger, right, gets a hug from Maureen Sanders following a standing ovation Metzger received in honor of his service. After 22 years of giving in one form or another, Metzger is stepping away from his official duties at the Benton American Legion. See more photos on page 10.
    Holly Kee photo

  • Freda Broadway, right, is presented with a commemorative coin in recognition of her outstanding work and leadership for the American Legion Auxiliary.

    Freda Broadway, right, is presented with a commemorative coin in recognition of her outstanding work and leadership for the American Legion Auxiliary.
    Holly Kee photo

  • From left, Joyce Atchison, Brittany Lindell, Maureen Sanders, Freda Broadway, Connie Hogan and Jana Hart are sworn in as new officers in the Benton Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary.

    From left, Joyce Atchison, Brittany Lindell, Maureen Sanders, Freda Broadway, Connie Hogan and Jana Hart are sworn in as new officers in the Benton Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary.
    Holly Kee photo

  • From left, Krystyna Taft, Ron Rose, John Metzger, Nayt Stewart, Mike Cross and Gary Fravel are sworn in as new officers in the Benton VFW Post by Commander Clarence Caraker.

    From left, Krystyna Taft, Ron Rose, John Metzger, Nayt Stewart, Mike Cross and Gary Fravel are sworn in as new officers in the Benton VFW Post by Commander Clarence Caraker.
    Holly Kee photo

  • Commander Clarence Caraker of the VFW 15th District presents Gary Gravel with a ribbon for the district colors to display with the flag. The ribbon signifies the Benton post's achievement of 100 percent membership, a feat not easily achieved.

    Commander Clarence Caraker of the VFW 15th District presents Gary Gravel with a ribbon for the district colors to display with the flag. The ribbon signifies the Benton post's achievement of 100 percent membership, a feat not easily achieved.
    Holly Kee photo

  • Freda Broadway, left, and John Metzger share a laugh after Broadway presented Metzger with a 'self not service' award from the American Legion Auxiliary for his years of service.

    Freda Broadway, left, and John Metzger share a laugh after Broadway presented Metzger with a 'self not service' award from the American Legion Auxiliary for his years of service.
    Holly Kee photo

  • From left, Rob Studebaker, Chuck Cockrum, Roy Simpkins and Jerry McGlasson were sworn in as new officers for the Benton American Legion Post 280.

    From left, Rob Studebaker, Chuck Cockrum, Roy Simpkins and Jerry McGlasson were sworn in as new officers for the Benton American Legion Post 280.
    Holly Kee photo

 
BY HOLLY KEE
hkee@localsouthernnews.com
Posted on 6/12/2019, 12:52 AM

It was a night of farewells, welcomes and thanks as Benton's American Legion and VFW posts seated new leadership for the posts and auxiliaries.

One familiar face for both said a tearful goodbye to official duties.

After spending the last two years in a leadership role, John Metzger stepped aside as commander of the post.

"He goes above and beyond not only for the post, but for our Auxiliary and the veterans," said Freda Broadway, who presented Metzger with a plaque to honor his service.

For VFW Commander Gary Fravel, the admiration for Metzger goes beyond his service to the VFW and American Legion.

Calling Metzger, "the most unique person I know," Fravel gave a heartfelt statement about his respect for Metzger.

"He didn't have to serve," said Fravel. "He could have gotten deferments but he chose instead to turn those down and volunteered for service. He ended up in service for Vietnam. Because of that he has my undying gratitude."

Along with his work with the veterans organizations, Metzger spent more than three decades in the education field as a teacher, principal, and superintendent. He currently serves on the Benton District #47 School Board and was honored as "Citizen of the Year" by the Benton/West City Chamber of Commerce.