IEA National Veterans Service Chairman Bob Kane has a capable assistant who helps him in his routine trips to area veterans home. That assistant is James R. Hertenstein of Mt. Vernon Lodge 819, who was named 2017-18 IEA Veteran Volunteer of the Year for men at the Annual Meeting in May.
“Jim goes every month to Marion and Anna VA’s,” Kane said in nominating Hertenstein for the honor. “He drives both trips. He also goes with me on my (Veterans Administration Veterans Service) trips to Anna. He purchases all snacks for both bingo visits and donates all to the lodge. He helps shop for my visits also.”
Hertenstein is always available for any special event planned, “He is always there to help. All you have to do is say, ‘Jim, will you help?’ and the answer is always ‘yes’,” Kane said. “He helps do our Anna summer barbecue. He shops and cooks with me — anything for ‘our vets.’”
Hertenstein himself is also a veteran. Kane added that the veterans of both the Marion and Anna VA’s look forward to his and Hertenstein’s visits to set up bingo. “They never have to worry if Mt. Vernon (Lodge) will be there. Jim saves our lodge money from bingo visits, to be used for more activities.”
And Hertenstein is no flash in the pan in his veterans support. He has been involved in Elks veterans program for more than 10 years.
“He is very dedicated to any help for veterans,” Kane said.
Chances are, visitors to Flora Lodge 1659 are likely to meet Angelia Hustedde. “Angelia can be seen frequently assisting the lodge in many capacities,” South Central District Senior Trustee Debbie Wallace says. “If you are visiting Flora Lodge you will more than likely get to meet Angelia.
“She graciously volunteers her time to place flags on graves of local veterans. She volunteers her time assisting the Wall that Heals, the half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial when it visited Flora last year in July.”
For those efforts and more, Hustedde was named IEA Veteran Volunteer of the Year for women for 2017-18. She received the honor at the dinner highlighting the IEA Annual Meeting in May in Springfield.
Wallace nominated Hustedde for the honor on behalf of South Central District. The district “is honored to nominate a very compassionate and worthy Elk for the prestigious honor of ladies Veteran volunteer of the Year,” Wallace said. “To her lodge she exemplifies this honor with her dedication to our veterans and to Elkdom in every way.”
Hustedde, a long-time Elk, has for years gone above and beyond in every way. Wallace said. “She donates her time, her money, her heart, her graciousness and her resources
for the betterment of her community, our veterans, our children and for her lodge.”
Her labors of love include taking socks and T-shirts to the VA hospital. She also volunteers at the American Legion in Flora.
“You can find Angelia assisting in any way possible when help is needed for our veterans, exemplifying and alway remembers, ‘As long as there are Veterans, we will never forget them.’”
Angelia makes South Central District and her lodge extremely proud for all she does for our veterans and for the lodge, Wallace said. She also has been appointed lodge chaplain for 2018-19.
“We thank her for serving our veterans through her service within our community, and would like for everyone to know the gem we have found in Angelia.”
Vet vol., female and male
Angelia Hustedde of Flora Lodge 1659 and Jim Hertenstein were honored as the IEA veteran volunteers of year for 2017-18. They received their awards from IEA Sponsor Lou Sulsberger and IEA National Veterans Service Chairman Bob Kane.