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 Mahon Foundation has researched and developed a local area Veteran story for presentation at the Memorial Day Ceremony produced each year by the Elk Grove Cosumnes 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 16th Michigan Infantry Regiment and was with the Unit at Appomattox when Lee surrendered to Grant. Dennis was in the Unit in July 1865 as the Unit headed the parade known as the Grand Review of the Armies in Washington, D.C., which celebrated the end of the Civil War. Shortly after his service, he came to Elk Grove 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 Mahon Foundation has researched and developed a local area Veteran story for presentation at the Memorial Day Ceremony produced each year by the Elk Grove Cosumnes Cemetery District. We began this tradition in 2016 by presenting the story of Peter Glann, a Civil War Veteran. Peter arrived in California from Ohio shortly before the Civil War to join his two brothers in running their vast agricultural operations in and around Elk Grove. When war broke out, Peter enlisted in the California Cavalry Regiment of the Union Army. His story is unique and compelling because he was wounded in an engagement with Rebels in Arizona, just over the California border. The engagement at Picacho 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 honor and distinction in many conflicts around the world in service to their country. In 2017 the LMML Foundation discovered the very poignant story of one such Elk Grove area veteran. It is the story of Charles E. Walther, a veteran of WWI. A renowned and talented musician with many options, he chose to fight for his country in the war that was raging in Europe. The chronicle of his journey from Elk Grove to Europe and back home again was extremely rare and is very touching.

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Hanford, Preston, Jr.

In the spring of 2018, the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation discovered a rather compelling story that has its roots deeply steeped in all that is California. It is the story of WWII USMC Veteran Preston Hanford, Sr., who is now interred in the Pleasant Grove Cemetery in Elk Grove. His sons Preston, Jr. and Curtis shared his story with us.

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Kammerer, DeRoy

Through the years, many Elk Grove area Veterans have served with honor, distinction, and heroism in service to their country. In 2019 the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation learned of a very remarkable 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 the same time. Arnold was an ammo bearer, and DeRoy was a combat medic. While not allowed to serve in the same unit as they wanted, each man was deployed to a front-line unit, and they were stationed just a few kilometers apart. Their story is a compelling journey from farm boy sons of Russian-German immigrant parents to battle-hardened soldiers who held fast to their core beliefs of patriotism, compassion, and humanity.

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Heintz, Wayne

Since its inception, the Linda Mae Mahon Foundation has researched and developed a local area Veteran story for presentation at the Memorial Day Ceremony produced each year by the Elk Grove Cosumnes Cemetery District. We began this tradition in 2016 by presenting the stories of two area Civil War Veterans, followed by Veterans of World Wars I and II and the Korean War. In 2021 we have the solemn honor of sharing the story of Wayne D. Heintz, a graduate of Elk Grove High School, Class of 1964, 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 military records and numerous conversations with those who knew Wayne, including elementary and high school friends and, most importantly, his sister Karen Heintz Castelli and his best friend Bob Lent, both also graduates of Elk Grove High School.

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