Steuben County Council on Aging • 317 S. Wayne St., Suite 1 B • Angola, IN 46703
C.O.A. Office (260)-665-8191 STAR Transportation (260)-665-9856
The Steuben County Council on Aging is a community leader in advocacy and services, including transportation, for older adults and others to empower independence and enhance well-being.
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Welcome to the Steuben County Council on Aging Community Center!!!
The Steuben County Council on Aging is staffed with dedicated people who are committed to assisting older
adults and persons with disabilities so that they are able to remain independent in the home of their choice
with dignity, thus preventing premature institutionalization.
The SCCOA is an independent, not-for-profit agency funded by: Title IIB Older Americans Act, Medicaid,
Trustees/County Commissioners, City of Angola, Churches and Civic Groups,
Steuben County United Way, Foundations & Grants, Private Donations and Fundraising.
The SCCOA acknowledges and supports the rights of all individuals and is actively involved in
serving older adults & persons with disabilities, as well as low-income families without any discrimination.
We believe all persons have the right to know what is available to help them care for themselves.
The Council on Aging staff can help provide this information to you.
We provide a wide range of information from all over Steuben County and the region.
If we can be of help, let us know — we are here to serve you!
HONORING OUR VETERANS
Richard (Lee) Courtright
In 1953 Lee was 20 years old, living in Steuben County, Indiana,
doing what he loved, working on his family’s farm.
Then he was drafted! In those days “deferrals” were given for
farming. Lee deferred just long enough to get the crops out, and
then he volunteered to join the US Army. That was 18, Nov. 1953.
Lee was first sent to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. This post
was created in December 1940 and named in honor of General Leonard Wood (former Chief of Staff) in January 1941.
Originally intended to train “infantry troops” in 1941 it became an “engineer” training post with the creation of the Engineer Replacement Training Center. During WWII Italian and German POW’S were interned at the Fort. In 1984, most of the US Army Engineer Schools operations were consolidated at Fort Leonard Woods.
A recollection of Lee’s first days in the Army, he recalls the repercussions of “sassing” his Sergeant.
The Commander wanted a particular pair of his boots cleaned and shined and had chosen Lee for the task. Lee remembers those boots appearing as though they had not been cleaned in 10 years. His response to the Sergeant’s request was … “NO! I don’t clean for nobody!” Wrong Answer! Consequently Lee was assigned to clean the grease traps and that day was when Lee realized he was not in charge of anything!
Although Lee never saw combat he moved on to become a much needed Army Engineer. He was a heavy equipment operator and assisted in rebuilding roads, ammunition dumps and bridges. One bridge in particular he recalls no more than getting it rebuilt to have it taken out by a flood!
When asked how he stayed in touch with his family during the Korean War Lee smiled and said “Facebook”! When asked about the food he replied “same ole”. And about how he dealt with the stress he replied he was “too busy for stress”. By Lee’s answers you are given a bit of insight into this veteran’s wonderful personality, spunk and spirit! He was a joy to interview. Lee recalls the day his service ended. He was honorably discharged in Chicago, Illinois after 22 months of service. He returned to his native Steuben County, Indiana where he lives today. A friendship of 52 years forged during war time still continues to this day. Lee has served in the Lions Club for 37 years.
Speaking from experience Lee believes the draft should be brought back for at least six months to train and teach respect and the benefits of hard work to the younger generations.
During our interview Mr. Courtright proudly spoke of his grandson entering basic training today at the same Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. Also mentioned was his son-in-law Master Sergeant who has served 34 years and is currently overseas. You are appreciated and honored Sir! We continue to enjoy our freedom because of brave men and women like you who make the sacrifice to serve this great land.
THANK YOU LEE FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY