Seventy years ago Westfield resident George Sheets was fighting in Central Europe. On Sept. 22, Sheets was recognized for his military service in World War II with family members and church friends in attendance.
In front of a crowd of approximately 30 people, Mayor Andy Cook proclaimed George Sheets Day at Maple Park Village, 776 N. Union St., where Sheets lives.
Sheets served in Company B – 83rd Medical Battalion Armored during World War II. Jerolyn Ogle, Sheets’ daughter, said he entered active duty in November 1942 and served in Central Europe Rhineland including the Battle of the Bulge. Sheets was wounded in Homburg, Germany and received the Purple Heart. Ogle said his other honors include the Good Conduct, American Campaign and the European African Middle Eastern Campaign medals. Sheets was given an Honorable Discharge on Oct. 29, 1945 from Camp Cooke, Calif.
The idea for the recognition came from the Rev. John Parker of Village Park Bible Methodist Church, 219 W. 161st St.
“I think it’s super. The Rev. Parker came up with the idea to do it and it just kind of mushroomed,” Ogle said, adding that more and more family members wanted to be there for the occasion and the nursing home assisted with the event. “I think it was really nice … I’m very happy for him.”
Parker said the idea was an impulse he had one day.
“He’s a good man, great man,” Parker said. “I felt like he’s been due for a longtime. The mayor was very excited about doing it.”
Sheets turned 99 in July.
“We were hoping to wait until he turned 100, but he came close to dying a few weeks ago from phenomena,” Parker said. “I just didn’t want to wait and take the chance.”
Parker said he hoped Sheets could participate in the Indy Honor Flights program.
“They’d love to take him on one of them (trips), but he’s not up for that,” he said.
Parker said Sheets is a very private person and knew the idea might upset him.
“He’s never sought recognition,” Parker said. “If he gets mad I’ll take the blame.”
Sheets has lived in Hamilton County most of his life and has been a Westfield resident for 65 years.
“He’s been a long-term associate of our church. He’s as loyal and faithful as any member,” Parker said.