Local veterans honored in online album

Veterans Day is Nov. 11

— Honoring veterans in the digital age, Cherie Ferguson, Johnsburg town secretary, is building a Facebook album featuring local men and women who've served their country.

The Facebook album, titled “Town of Johnsburg - Honoring our Vets!!” is an effort by Ferguson to pay tribute and is part of the town's Facebook profile.

Ferguson's been building the album with photographs and service years of Johnsburg veterans since sometime around Veteran's Day last year, she said.

Her approach is limited by available equipment and spare time. Cherie said she often has to photograph the photographs she's given to convert them into digital bits for uploading.

Ferguson said she has a large backlog of about 200 photos, and it's slow going processing them in her off hours.

Some of the information she has on the veterans is limited, often just a name, branch and years served. Especially helpful is when relations comment on photographs to provide some extra details. Sometimes well-versed locals have a tidbit about the veteran because of their community service or high-profile local work, she said.

When all's said and done, Ferguson said the Johnsburg Historical Society will receive the collection for their archives.

One veteran documented by Ferguson is Patrick Porter of Riparius, who served in the Navy at the tail end of WWII and the opening of the Korean War.

He did his basic training at Camp Perry in Virginia. His first assignment was on a troop transport carrying soldiers home from Japan. He transferred to the supply division, where he said the mattresses were much thicker and the rooms much more accommodating.

Porter was at Bikini Atoll during atomic bomb tests following the end of the war. The ship he was on was 20 miles from the detonation site. The crew were all issued dark glasses because of the high-intensity flash caused by an atomic explosion, but Porter was still warned to tuck his eyes into his arms. Two minutes or so following the detonation, Porter felt a wave of heat wash over him.

Patrick Porter's son Michael would like to correct his father's retirement place to North Creek. Thanks for keeping us on our toes.

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