It is a strange phenomenon...but there exists a bond, a love, and a comradery between all those who served in the military during the years of war that time does not fade.

It matters not what branch of the service they served in, the disparity of their ages, or what conflict received their efforts; a brotherhood exists between these war veterans of every rank, file, age, or description that defies all rationale.

Thus is the case of those members of Post 69 who have met over the years and have developed a feeling of trust for and dependence upon one another.

This week we have lost a loved member of that close-knit group. Gentle Earl McQuillan, a World War II veteran, left his earthly bonds of failing health to answer to a much higher calling. Over many a gravesite of departing comrades, McQuillan has fired his ceremonial rifle. We will now fire that self-same rifle over McQuillan to bid goodbye to a warm, just, yet courageous war veteran.

There was a quiet pride and dignity about McQuillan. He died as he lived...without remorse...without envy, deceit, or guile.

With his gentle smile he faced life with courage, compassion, and optimism. When ill health struck him down, he faced death the exact same way.

As stated, McQuillan was a World War II veteran, a dying breed. Few are left of this remarkable group which originally contained millions. Now it is down to hundreds.

As they leave, one by one, they, as the poem goes, "leave a lonesome place against the sky."

Earl, your vacant chair at the post meetings, will always be a reminder that someday, somewhere, all war veterans will again circle the wagons and live and love as of old.

Goodbye, Earl. We love you! - Post 69.