Category Archives: News

A Few Changes

As we understand it, due to popular demand, reveille and retreat will be held this year, at the flag pole at the entrance to Veterans Village. By popular demand, the time, has been changed to 8:30 am for reveille,  but retreat will remain at 5:00 pm.  I’m sure those faithful few who braved the chilly mornings when we had it at earlier,  will continue to attend and we look forward to welcoming those who will find the new time more fitting to their schedule.

Our excitement is ramping up as we look forward to returning to Branson and seeing all of you once again.  Be sure to check out the Schedule of Events Page at this site or at

John Wlliam Long

John William Long

John William Long
Retired Army Sargent First Class, John William Long, age 76 of Strafford Mo., passed away peacefully with his loving Family by his side to be with his Lord Jesus Christ, March 15, 2013, after a lengthy illness.
John was born in Ashland, Pennsylvania April 28-1936 to John, and Flaura Long. He embraced the Lord at a very early age. John was a member of the Mt. Carmel High School class of 1954. Upon graduation, John and 2 of his best High School Friends, all enlisted in the U.S. Military. They did this in part, because to stay in Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania, at this time, meant an almost certain lifetime of Coalmining, the only real jobs available in the area. John selected the United States ARMY, and his friends each joined other branches of the service.
He retired from the U S Army at Ft. Leavenworth Kansas as a Sargent First Class with 20 years of military service having been stationed, or served tours in Ft. Jackson South Carolina, Ft. Lee,
Virginia, Neu Ostheim, Germany, Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, Pusan, Korea, Ft. Belvoir , Virginia again, Pirmasens, Germany, Ft. Lee, Virginia again, Cam Ranh Bay,Vietnam, , Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, Camp Samea San, Thailand, Wurtzburg Germany, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. He was awarded numerous Awards, Decorations and Medals.
After retiring from the Army, John began another career as a Purchasing Agent working for Fire Master Fire Apparatus, which he did for 24 years. John met the love of his life Maria while stationed in Germany. The Lord blessed them with a loving daughter Maria Erika and son David Roy Long. They celebrated their 55th Wedding Anniversary with a Cruise to Alaska in 2012.
John was preceded in death by his beloved daughter Maria Erika. Besides the love of his life Maria, John is survived by his loving son David Roy Long of Strafford, dearly loved Granddaughter Krystal Alexis Long of Springfield, brother-in-law Ludwig Merz of Germany, Sister Joan Mazari, of Colorado, Loving Brother Robert and wife Teruko of Colorado, Brother Raymond Long of Pennsylvania and numerous nephews and nieces. Special Friends, Wayne Bumgarner, Larry Jacobs, Ronald Quinn, George Bass, and, Jim Gartner, and many dear friends, too numerous to mention. John is also survived by his loving and faithful family dog, Shelby.
John loved his military career, and continued his devotion to the military, and its’ veterans, with Life memberships, and service, in both, the VFW Post 7214, and the Vietnam Veterans Association 952, of Springfield Mo. During the years, John missed very few functions, and a proud moment, for he and his family came at the 2012, Fourth of July Parade, in Strafford, when the VFW selected him to serve as Grand Marshall. John will be sorely missed by his family, friends, church, community, and his dog. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, son, and friend. He was a human being of the first degree, and all who knew him, will grieve his passing.
John loved his Lord, and was a member of the Strafford United Methodist Church, where he held many different positions, and worked to help the church, any way he could. John was active in his community, and he served the fledgling Strafford volunteer fire department as chief, for 9 years. He and the department were recognized in “Springfield” Magazine, in 1983.
Viewing will be at Day Funeral Home in Marshfield MO. on Sunday March 17th from 2 pm to 4 pm. The funeral will be held at the Strafford United Methodist Church, his home Church in Strafford Mo., at 12 pm, a small dinner will be held for guests, beforehand starting at 11 am. Rev. Gene Nicholson, and Rev. John Inman will officiate the service. Burial will be at Waynesville Memorial Cemetary in Waynesville Mo. with full Military Honors.
In lieu of flowers the family asks to donate to the United Methodist church of Strafford, theVeterans Organization of your choice, or MERCY HOSPICE.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Somewhere my Love, we will meet again.
Your loving wife, MARIA
Published in the News-Leader on March 17, 2013

“Patch”-work Quilt

Jim Pitchford  had his vast collection of military patches assembled into a one of a kind work of art.  The “Patch-work Quilt”  is currently being displayed in the lobby of Grand Country. Although only one side of the quilt is visible in the display, both sides have patches.  “I still have a bunch more to do something with”, Jim says.  The oversized Patch-work Quilt is much too large and too heavy for their bed, and Jim has been looking for just the right place to share it with other veterans.  There will be many who will search and find the patch they wore during their military service.  We hope you will take time to go by and see this one of a kind quilt. Thank you, Jim and Silvia, for your generosity in sharing this treasure.



Work in Progress

Work is under way preparing the Day Room for Veterans who will come from all over the United States. Last year we had visiting vets from all but 11 of the states. There will be so much going on throughout the community. Many theaters offer free or discounted shows for the veterans.