Veteran Stories

In this Section we present the stories of local area Veterans from various conflicts in American History. These stories are developed from conversations with family members of the Veterans and local area citizens as well as extensive research of archival and military records.

 

Beliner, Dennis

Since its inception, the Linda Mae MahonFoundation has researched and developed a local areaVeteran story for presentation at the Memorial Day Ceremony produced each year by the Elk GroveCosumnes Cemetery District.One of our 2016 Veteran Stories is of Dennis Beliner.Dennis entered service late in the War in March of 1865. He enlisted in Company B of the 16thMichiganInfantry Regiment and was with the Unit at Appomattox when Lee surrendered to Grant. Dennis was inthe Unit in July 1865 as the Unit headedthe parade known as theGrandReviewof the ArmiesinWashington, D.C. which celebrated the end of the Civil War. Shortly after his service he came to ElkGrove to work on his brother-in-law’s vast acreage with his wife and two children.

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Glann, Peter

Since its inception, the Linda Mae MahonFoundation has researched and developed a local areaVeteran story for presentation at the Memorial Day Ceremony produced each year by the Elk GroveCosumnes Cemetery District.We began this tradition in 2016 by presenting the story of Peter Glann, aCivil War Veteran.Peter arrived in California from Ohio shortly before the Civil War to join his two brothers in running theirvast agricultural operations in and around Elk Grove. When war broke out, Peter enlisted in theCalifornia Calvary Regiment of the Union Army. His story is unique and compelling because he waswounded in an engagement with Rebels in Arizona, just over the California border.The engagement atPicacho Peak was the westernmost battle of the American Civil War.

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Walther, Charles

Over the generations from the fields and homes of Elk Grove men and women have fought with honorand distinction in many conflicts around the world in service to their country.In 2017 the LMMLFoundation discovered the very poignant story of one such Elk Grove area veteran. Itis the story of Charles E. Walther, a veteran of WWI. A renowned and talented musician with manyoptions, he chose to fight for his country in the war that was raging in Europe. The chronical of hisjourney from Elk Grove to Europe and back home again was extremely rare and is very touching.

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Hanford, Preston, Jr.

Inthespringof2018theLindaMaeMahonLemaFoundationdiscoveredarathercompellingstorythathasitsrootsdeeplysteepedinallthatisCalifornia.ItisthestoryofWWIIUSMCVeteranPrestonHanford,Sr.whoisnowinterredinthePleasantGroveCemeteryinElkGrove.HissonsPreston,Jr.andCurtissharedhisstorywithus.

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Kammerer, DeRoy

Through the years many Elk Grove area Veterans have served with honor, distinction andheroism in service to their country. In 2019 the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation learned ofa veryremarkable story about Elk Grove’s Kammerer Family during the Korean War.Arnold and DeRoy Kammerer were both drafted into the US Army and served in Korea at thesame time. Arnold was an ammo bearer and DeRoy was a combat medic. While not allowed toservein the same unit, as they wanted, each man was deployed to a front-line unit and theywere stationed just a few kilometers apart.Their story is a compelling journey from farm boy sons of Russian-German immigrant parents tobattle-hardened soldiers who held fast to their core beliefs of patriotism, compassion andhumanity.

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Heintz, Wayne

Since its inception, the Linda Mae MahonFoundation has researched and developed a local areaVeteran story for presentation at the Memorial Day Ceremony produced each year by the Elk GroveCosumnes Cemetery District.We began this tradition in 2016 by presenting the stories of two area CivilWar Veterans, followed by Veterans of World Wars I and II and the Korean War. In 2021 we have thesolemn honor of sharing the story of Wayne D. Heintz, a graduate of Elk Grove High School, Class of1964, who was killed in the Vietnam War in 1968.Our development of Wayne’s story is the result of a combination of researching archival and militaryrecords and numerous conversations with those who knew Wayne, including elementary and highschool friends, and, most importantly, his sister Karen Heintz Castelli and his best friend Bob Lent, bothalso graduates of Elk Grove High School.

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