The “Veteran of the Month” for January 2017 is Loren Earl “Bud” Bell Sr. Born on Oct. 1, 1926 in Flint, Michigan he attended school near Evart, Michigan, completing the 8th grade.
Leaving school, Bell worked on the family farm until September 22nd, 1944 when he enlisted in the Navy entering into active service on November 11th, 1944 in Evart.
Bell was sent to the Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois for basic training and then to the Additional Training Base at Camp Bradford, Virginia.
Bell was assigned to the USS Landing Ship Transport #286 serving as a Seaman 2nd class and Fireman 2nd class and later he was reassigned to USS Landing Ship Transport #791 serving as Seaman 2nd class and Seaman 1st class.
His ships were deployed to the Asiatic Pacific Theater of Operations and on July 22nd, 1946,at the US Naval Personal Separation Center, Great Lakes, Illinois, Bell received an Honorable Discharge and was awarded the following awards:
The Asiatic Pacific Area Campaign Medal, The American Area Campaign Medal and The Victory Medal.
While Bell was in the Navy his parents moved to Boyne Falls, Michigan so when Bell returned home it was to Boyne Falls and on November 12th, 1946 he married Virginia Mae McCary in Harbor Springs, Michigan.
Bell became a truck driver for a while and then joined the Ironworkers Union Local 340 in Battle Creek, Michigan and worked on the building of the Mackinaw Bridge connecting the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan, Penn-Dixie Cement Plant near Petoskey, Michigan, the Big Rock Nuclear Plant and the Medusa Cement Plant near Charlevoix, Michigan.
He also worked in Kansas, South Dakota, Colorado and California before retiring in 1988.
Bell and his wife traveled every winter to warmer climates settling in Quartzsite, Arizona for the last 25 years where he played golf almost every day.
On October 19th, 2016 Loren Earl “Bud” Bell Sr. answered the final call and is being honored by his wife Virginia, his daughter Dianna, his sons Gary and Loren Jr. and their extended families.
To honor a veteran, call the program chairman at (231) 588-6067 or on Tuesdays call (231) 582-7811 between 3:30 and 8:30 p.m.
The ceremony may be witnessed on the first Thursday of each month at The American Legion Post located on the corner of South Lake and Main streets in Boyne City, at 6:15 p.m.