BY BOB SWEENEYPUBLISHER
One of the largest concentration of military veterans live at Heritage Eagle Bend in Arapahoe County with an estimated 400 residents with military service living in the residential community 0f 1442 homes.
The HEB board is chaired by a retired Marine officer Steve Hungerford, along with a large majority of retired Army, Navy, and Air Force, followed by Marines, National Guard, and Coast Guard members.
Every year on Veteran’s Day the HEB provides a complimentary dinner for the veterans along with musical presentations by the Heritage Voices choir.
Master of Ceremonies for the packed ballroom program was West Point graduate and Vietnam Army veteran Tom Coker. Honored guest was Francoise Bergan, recently re-elected to her second term representing District 6 on the Aurora City Council.
Paula Gilbert directed the Heritage Voice choir in singing, “This is My Country” an Armed Service medley, and “God Bless America.”
Highlight of the evening was the recognition of World War ll veteran Louis (Lou) Zoghby who survived the Battle of the Bulge that lasted 40 days.
Zoghby served in the 17th Airborne Division as a “Gliderman,”a singularly unenviable job. They entered combat on Christmas Eve 1944 at the Battle of Ardennes-Alsace, now known as the Battle of the Bulge. The weather was bitter, the fighting fierce, and some of the battalions lost nearly half of their men but they prevailed against the Nazi forces. Lou was awarded a Bronze Star for Valor in recapturing the town of Flamierge as the Allied Forces pushed forward.
Later in March Lou participated in the last and largest airborne operation in WWll. It was named “Operation Varsity,” with over 16,000 airborne and gliderborne solders participating. They captured key bridges crossing the Rhine River into Germany.
After the war ended Lou was transferred to the 82nd Airborne Division that was part of the occupation force in Berlin. He and his fellow “All Americans” were the last 9000 solders to come home on the Queen Mary. He was a part of the Victory Day parade in New York City and was discharged from active duty on 17 January 1946, having served from 10 March 1943.
In addition to the Bronze Star he was awarded Glider Wings, the Combat Infantry Badge, and the French Legion Honor. He has been married to his wife Patricia for 67 years.
At the HEB program he was presented a “Quilt of Valor” by Janice Weber from the Arapahoe County branch of the QOV Foundation that provides elegant quilts, saying to military veterans, “Thank you for your service, sacrifice, and valor.”
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