Nudi's Neighbors | Remembering the veterans of World War II

June 6, 2014 

Today, June 6, is the 70th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy, France, a turning point in the European theater of World War II.

We are approaching a time in American history, with the passing of many of the men and women who served in the military during WWII, when that war will be remembered in the same way most of us relate to the Civil War.

If I can suggest, read up on this important event, or at least watch one of the great Hollywood movies.

To honor the memory of this day, the owners and manager of the Anna Maria Oyster Bar, 6906 14th St. W., are doing their part and inviting all WWII veterans to a free lunch at 11 a.m. Friday.

• Congratulations to Susan Profant, who retired last month after 25 years as a paralegal for the Manatee County Tax Collector's office.

Susan and her husband, Tom, a retired Florida Highway Patrol trooper, have already headed to the mountains of North Carolina to enjoy all their free time together.

• Memorial Day will be a memorable day for Shauna Weeks.

As she was boating off the Venice coast with her husband, Carl, and their family, she had her hand in the water.

To her surprise, a fish jumped up, and a sharp fin put a 3/4-inch slice in Shauna's hand.

We all hope it's healing fast.

• Uh, oh! Brian Ruggiero, commercial lender at Hancock Bank, hit the Big 6-0!

• What a great year this has been for Luke Smith.

He bowled a perfect game; qualified for the state Junior Gold Bowling Championship in Pensacola, coming in first; and with his team, came in second at the Sarasota/Manatee Youth Bowling Conference, where he also placed first in doubles.

Now Luke is headed to the National Junior Gold Bowling Championship in Buffalo, N.Y., the only youth bowler from Manatee County to qualify.

To help pay his way to that far-away city in the north, his family and friends are holding a fundraiser 6-8 p.m. June 13 at AMF Bradenton Lanes, 4208 Cortez Road.

For $15 you get two hours of fun on the bowling alleys, and shoe rental to boot.

• Brooke James got to celebrate her 10th birthday in enviable fashion.

The Witt Elementary School fourth-grader threw out the first pitch before last Friday night's Marauders game at McKechnie Field.

Among the onlookers were her proud parents, Jen and Jon, and sister, Leah.

• Hurray! Chrissy Fagan is 23, and her husband, Scooter, says, "Cheers!"

• Congratulations, Korean War veteran George Staudt, who has been selected by Southwest

Florida Honor Flight Network to fly to Washington, D.C. on June 14.

George, a member of Kirby Stewart American Legion Post 24, will fly with 50 WWII and five Korea War veterans. They will be escorted by volunteers and will be shown several military memorials and monuments as well as the National Korean War Memorial.

An enlisted man, George served four years in the United States Air Force. He was an aerial gunner on a twin-engine Douglas B26 Invader light bomber. He completed 34 night-time combat missions of a 50-mission tour over a variety of North Korean targets in 1953.

• What a great 13th birthday gift for Isaiah Colegio. Monday is not only his birthday, but also the last day of school.

And a big bunch of his family -- Mom, Louie; Grandmom and Grandpa, Sue and Jim Houser; Great-Grandmom, Barbara Jasper; Aunt Alyssa and Uncle Cody, and Camden, Paula, Julie, John, Tina, Sean, Ashley, Landon -- all wanted to tell him happy birthday and they love him.

• Christine Civil, a Bradenton Christian School athlete star and now serving in the Navy, was recently transferred to San Diego, to work on drones and helicopters.

Carl Mario Nudi, who retired from the Herald in August 2010 after 44 years in the business, is back with "Nudi's Neighbors" every Friday. Reach him at cnudi@bradenton.com.

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