WAHOO – A veteran nominated by the late Larry Mach was honored as the Saunders County Veteran of the Month for December.
Each month, the Saunders County Board of Supervisors recognizes a veteran who is a resident of Saunders County through a program founded by Mach before his sudden death on Sept. 25. This month, Lonnie Rech of Davey is the honoree. He was recognized at the Dec. 8 county board meeting.
Although Davey is not in Saunders County, support for the veterans in Saunders County reaches far beyond the county line, which is why Mach was adamant that Rech be recognized. But it wasn’t just Mach who saw all that Rech does for veterans and the community. It was also the members of the Ceresco American Legion Post 244, of which Rech is a member.
In June 1968 Rech enlisted in the US Air Force Nebraska National Guard, and attended basic training at Lackland Air Force Base located right in the middle of San Antonio, Texas. He returned to Nebraska and was assigned as a communications specialist in the 155th Communications Flight of the Nebraska National Guard. In 1970 he was transferred to the 155th CAMRON Squadron as an administrative assistant to the first sergeant’s office. A year later in 1971 he joined the Nebraska Army National Guard State Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment as the communications sergeant. In 1972 he was selected and assigned to the NCO school. He transferred to the HHD ARNG Command and Control Detachment in 1981 as the supply sergeant and in 1984 he was discharged from the Nebraska National Guard as a staff sergeant.
Rech worked for the City of Lincoln Water System and retired after 41 years. He also was a driver education instructor t Southeast Community College.
Rech currently serves as the commander of the Ceresco American Legion Post 244 where he is also a lifetime member. One of the many things he is responsible for is the post’s monthly newsletter, for which he has been recognized. He is also involved with the monthly steak feed, the Memorial Day ceremony and decorations around the American Legion grounds and many other tasks that need to be done for the Legion. He is also a lifetime member of the DAV Chapter 7 Robert Flansberg Chapter.
His involvement in the community doesn’t stop with the American Legion and DAV. He is a member of Hickman Lodge No. 257 and served as junior steward and member of the Sesostris Shriners of Lincoln. He has served as the Nebraska Section Emergency coordinator for the ARRL, is a member of many ham radio clubs to include the Lincoln Amateur Radio Club, Lincoln Repeater Club, American Legion Amateur Radio Club and the QCWA (Quarter Century Wireless Association) Chapter 25.
Rech has been married to his sweetheart, Catherine, for 52 years and together they have two sons, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Rech received a certificate of appreciation and plaque from the county board stating the following: “The Saunders County Supervisors wish to recognize your military service to the United States of America. Throughout our nation’s history, it is the efforts of men and women such as yourself that have provided the freedoms we, as Americans, dearly enjoy today. Please accept our deepest gratitude and appreciation. Let us never forget your demonstrated sacrifice, service, love and commitment to your county. Signed by the County Board Chairperson, Doris Karloff, and Veterans Service Officer, Mary Pace dated 8 December 2020.”