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AMVETS honors Art Akeman with scholarship PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 25 July 2013 09:52
Art Akeman poses outside the AmVetS Post 711 building in Bowling Green. (Photo: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
Service to veterans has defined Art Akeman's life.
Now, one of the organizations he's held so dear is giving back in his honor.
Akeman, McClure, was named Veteran of the Year by Bowling Green AMVETS Post 711, and the group is establishing a scholarship in his name.
"Honestly it's an honor, and I thank the post," said Akeman. "I just feel that I didn't do anything out of the ordinary."
Akeman served during Vietnam with the U.S. Army's 525th Military Intelligence Brigade.
"I didn't see a whole lot of combat," he said. "I saw the aftermath of combat. Which was an eye-opening experience in itself."
The assignment took Akeman throughout the country, from the demilitarized zone to the Mekong Delta, and even into Cambodia.
"I got somewhat involved in the Agent Orange Program because of the position I was in," he said.
Akeman was in the military until 1971, and then worked 33 years for Jeep before retiring.
After leaving the service, he became passionate about veterans' causes.
"I have been a strong advocate for veterans' programs, benefits," he explained, as well as informing veterans about programs they may not have known were available.
Akeman has been an extremely active member of the Bowling Green AMVETS post, with his wife, Darlene, for more than 20 years, and is the post's commander.
In fact, Akeman described himself as a "revolving door" commander of the post, as he's held the office numerous times. He's also served as finance officer, first, second and third vice-commander over the years, and sometimes held more than one position at a time. He was also twice voted District Commander.
Darlene noted Akeman's passion for the organization.
"The post has a lot to offer," she said.
The post's senior trustee, Danny Malone, said they are establishing a $1,000 scholarship, to be called the AMVETS Post 711 Art Akeman Scholarship, to honor Akeman and his service. The particulars of the scholarship are yet to be finalized.
"I couldn't have done it without you guys," Akeman, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, said to Malone after he praised Akeman's contributions.
Akeman said he had learned of his diagnosis before being elected to his current term as commander, and warned members that he might not be able to carry on as well as in the past.
"They said 'hang in there, we'll back you up,'" he said.
"They're a bunch of fantastic guys," said Darlene.
Last Updated on Thursday, 25 July 2013 11:26

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