Army 243rd

Local veterans celebrated the U.S. Army’s 243rd birthday Thursday at the American Legion Harold Kerr Post 173. In keeping with the military tradition, the cutting of the cake was performed by the senior ranking officer in attendance, First Sgt. Trudy Beltz, who retired after 26 years service conducting special assignments in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf, and the lowest ranking soldier present, Cpl. Jerry Pitzer, who served as a military police officer from 1960 to 1963 during the Cold War Era, that included the Cuban Missile Crisis and a stint in France as the Berlin Wall was being constructed. In addition to enjoying the cake, Army veterans had a chance to test their knowledge in a trivia contest. The legion hosts a similar birthday celebration for each of the branches of the Armed Forces. (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)