Audrey Juds, a longtime resident of New Berlin, has worked over 25 years covering the city as a reporter, editor and columnist. Contact her at email@example.com.
The Memorial Day service at Highland Memorial Park -- sponsored by New Berlin Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5716 -- always attracts a large crowd to honor those who have served their country overseas. The ceremony this year was declared bigger than ever.
The post traditionally follows this up with another impressive ceremony – bestowing Patriotic Citizen Awards. It offers local organizations the opportunity to honor a special member by nominating this person to receive a flag flown over the United States Capitol.
The public is urged to come and cheer on the recipients during the 2 p.m. ceremony Sunday, June 7, at the VFW Post, 17980 W. Beloit Rd.
Two years ago I experienced this thrill when nominated by the New Berlin Lioness Club. My flag was flown over the Capitol on March 26, 2007.
This year the Lioness nominated Kathy Oleinik. As a member for only four years, she is completing a one-year term as president, as well as agreeing to take on a second term because the new nominee had to decline.
She previously organized an event honoring our New Berlin Lions. She also has taken charge of operating and stocking soda stands during the 11 days of State Fair -- when the Lioness help the Lions at their annual Corn Roast..
Oleinik, a Girl Scout leader for over 25 years, notes that she has led Troop 42 the last 20 years. The membership includes 87 girls-- yes, 87 girls-- in middle school and high school who attend 17 different schools in the area. They take a major bus trip every two years, attend national jamborees, plus other travel swhic has taken them through most of the states.
Oleinik also is involved on committees at Blessed Savior Lutheran Church. Her husband, Vern, had served as a New Berlin police officer for 34 years and their adult children, Stacey and Jason, grew up in New Berlin.
And since this nominee will be out of town with her scouts, her husband will be accepting the flag.