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Mural a tribute to all who served

February 16. 2013 2:45PM

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PLYMOUTH – The mural takes up one entire wall at the Plymouth Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1425.

It depicts scenes from six wars – World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The mural, painted by Bob Dauksis, 63, of Nanticoke, honors all veterans, and it clearly shows the sacrifices, hardships and heroics of the men and women of our armed forces through the decades.

"We're not celebrating war," said Clyde Peters of the VFW and himself a decorated veteran of Vietnam. "The mural celebrates all soldiers and what each has done for our country to preserve our freedoms."

Dauksis, a carpenter by trade, said painting is his hobby. He said he wanted to offer a general presentation of what all soldiers went through war by war.

Dauksis said the World War I scene shows trench warfare; World War II is of the D-Day landing; Korea depicts the extreme cold conditions; Vietnam includes the jungle and rice paddies; Iraq is a desert scene; and Afghanistan shows a town with soldiers policing the area.

Peters, 62, said the Iraq frame includes a female soldier. He said he asked Dauksis to paint her in to honor the VFW Post's first female combat veteran.

"We want people to come in and see the mural," Peters said. "The Kielbasi Festival is coming up and we want visitors to stop by and see the mural and appreciate all soldiers."

The Kielbasi Festival will be held Friday and Saturday, Aug. 24-25. Peters said the theme of the festival's parade is "Honor All Soldiers."

Peters, the youngest of 17 children, knows what soldiers go through in battle.

On Thanksgiving Day in 1968, Peters saved the life of a fellow soldier who was hit in the chest by an enemy bullet. Peters threw him on his shoulder and headed to safety. While he was running with the wounded soldier on his back, Peters was hit.

Peters also spearheaded the drive to erect a Vietnam Memorial in his hometown honoring seven young men from Plymouth who were killed in the war and all those who fought there.

The Plymouth VFW was established in 1938.

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