Lt. General Richard Seitz
Recent articles from the Junction City, KS Daily Union:
From The Daily Union, Sept. 17, 2003:
By Mike Heronemus
The Daily Union
The Association of the U.S. Army selected retired Lt. Gen. Richard Seitz of Junction City to receive its Creighton W. Abrams Medal.
AUSA plans to present the medal, named after a former Army chief of staff, Oct. 6 in Washington, D.C., during opening ceremonies of its annual meeting. AUSA works to improve public and Congressional support of the U.S. Army.
The Abrams Medal recognizes Seitz for his efforts to create a greater public awareness of the Army and to garner support for today's soldiers from citizens in all walks of life, AUSA Communication Director John Grady said.
AUSA invited its 132 chapters worldwide to submit nominations for the Abrams Medal and other awards it will present during the annual meeting, said Pat Taylor, who handles awards for the AUSA. A panel that included several general officers and a retired sergeant major of the Army selected Seitz from the nominations.
Seitz is active in the local AUSA chapter and Junction City's Old Trooper Regiment. He also belongs to Kansans for a Strong Fort Riley, which works to ensure Fort Riley's place as an important part of the community.
Seitz also belongs to a group called Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. That organization works to make sure employers understand all the military regulations and federal laws regarding their employees who are reservists or National Guard soldiers and to make employers aware of the importance of their soldiers' service.
At least one former post commanding general and a couple of command staff members described Seitz as a valued mentor. Fort Riley occasionally invites Seitz to speak at unit functions or to present seminars on leadership and the military profession.
"When I look around and see what so many of my friends are doing for the military community, I really feel humble" about receiving the Abrams Medal, Seitz said. "I can think of several people more deserving of the award than I am."
From The Daily Union, June 18, 2003:
By GAIL PARSONS
The Daily Union
Retired Lt. Gen. Richard Seitz and former state Sen. Merrill Werts will be grand marshals for the 2003 Independence Day Sundown Salute celebration.
The theme of the parade is Proud to be an American.
"These two gentlemen exemplify the meaning of that theme," Geary County Convention & Visitors Bureau Director Connie Hall said. "They are great community supporters. We are proud to announce them as our grand marshals."
Although modest about the selection, Seitz and Werts do not take the honor lightly. Their pride to be Americans resonates as they speak about their involvement in the military and the community.
"My dad and his brother were both veterans of World War I," Werts said.
Werts and his cousin, the only two boys in the family to carry on the family name, went into the military during World War II.
"My cousin was killed early in the war," Werts said.
The two had grown up together, worked the farm together and became fraternity brothers in college. But on Werts' 21st birthday, his cousin was killed. Yet as he went off to Europe, Werts said he was proud to represent his family.
After his military service and as he became more active in the community, he saw more of the things that need to be done in this country "and how the good old U.S.A. has evolved over the years as the prime example in the whole world for people who think independently and live independently."
Although he bursts with pride when he speaks about his country, and with a long history of service to the United States, Kansas and Junction City, Werts said he doesn't feel nearly as worthy as he believes Seitz is to have the honor of being this year's grand marshal.
"I am going to stay a half-step behind Dick Seitz," Werts said. "He is such a great guy. He was such a great soldier, and he has been such a great citizen."
In his 35-year military career, Seitz served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
Although he rose through the ranks to become a three-star general, that has little to do with the patriotism he feels.
"Being a general really does not strengthen my patriotism or pride in America," he said. "If I was just a poor private I would still be a patriotic person. There are so many people who will never aspire to this rank, and they are as patriotic or more so than I am."
Despite American's shortcomings and faults, Seitz said this country has done so much for the world on a military and a humanitarian front.
The parade's theme Proud to be an American "means I can hold my head up high and know that I am an integral part of this country," he said. "I am so very proud to be an American."
The parade is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. July 4. Hall said the parade is shaping up to be a large one, with two Army bands participating. People interested in entering a float have until Friday to register, which can be done by calling 238-2885 or by visiting the CVB office, 425 N. Washington St. The parade is sponsored by Country Kitchen, the Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Junction City/Fort Riley Shriners.