WESTMINSTER — Maryland Jaycees, hoping to make Independence Day a special holiday for Persian Gulf war veterans, is sponsoring a dance at Martin's Westminster.
The appreciation dance will be open to all Maryland military personnel who participated in Operation Desert Storm, said Cheri Babington, program manager for the Maryland Jaycees.
When the club's original plan, to help families of military personnel in the gulf with Operation Oasis, failed, members decided to redirect efforts into the party, she said.
Members also wanted to respond to President George Bush's request to honor those involved in the war this Fourth of July, Babington said.
The party, from 8 p.m. to midnight July 5, will be free to all service people and their guests. Required reservations are due by June 26.
Donations have already been received from The Carroll County Times, Martin's Westminster,Days Inn, Pepsi-Cola and the Mount Airy Jaycees, Babington said.
Wayne Paul, manager of Martin's Westminster, is donating the facility, and disc jockey MURPH "The Music Man" of Glen Burnie, Anne Arundel County, is contributing his time, she said.
Information: 875-2571,Ext. 295, or 775-7714.
SOLDIER TALKS TO CLASS
WESTMINSTER -- ArmyCapt. Timothy W. Gerwig returned to Carroll County from the Persian Gulf last week to visit not only his family but also first-grade pen pals at Robert Moton Elementary School.
Gerwig, who was stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky., before being deployed to the Middle East in August, was adopted by niece Erin Strevig's first-grade class. Besides speaking to Erin's class, Gerwig also spoke to kindergarten students and sixth-graders at East Middle School.
Erin's brother, Joshua, is a kindergarten student at Robert Moton and their older brother, Gerry, is a sixth-grader at East Middle School.
The former Hampstead resident spoke about his seven-month stint in the Persian Gulf. One of the more pressing questions came from a kindergarten pupil who wanted to know whether Gerwig had killed Saddam Hussein.
"His nephews volunteered him to talk," said Judy Gerwig, his mother and an executive secretary at Random House. "The first-grade class adopted Tim as their soldier and had written letters to him. His visit was kind of a thank you on his part. He wanted to let them know he appreciated their letters."
Timothy Gerwig, a member of the 101st Airborne Air Assault Unit, returned to Fort Campbell after his visit. He is married and has an 8-month-old son, Jacob, who was only two weeks hold when his father left for the Middle East.
A 1982 North Carroll High School graduate, Gerwig, 27, earned a bachelor's degree in business and finance at Mount Saint Mary's College, Emmitsburg.
"It was a wonderful homecoming," said Judy Gerwig. "It was a long seven months. I wouldn't want to go through it again."
Timothy Gerwig's father is BillGerwig, a retired Maryland State Police officer.