PVT Joseph S. Lietzan was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, KIA at the River Lys on April 28, 1918, the same day Baron Von Richthofen (German flying ace) was shot down and killed. Joseph and his two brothers were among the first volunteers from West Hammond, Ill. (group photo available) He was a promising musician, employed as a teamster in Hammond, Ind., at the time of his induction into the Regular U.S. Army on May 2, 1917. I have souvenirs and photos of his time in the service: wall pennant from Camp Robinson, Wis., a full-length portrait of Lietzan in uniform, his musician's arm badge, photo of his gravesite at A.E.F. Cemetery near Cullemelle, France, and headstone at Holy Cross Cemetery in Calumet City, Ill., and more.
As a bugler I marched in my youth with competitive drum & bugle corps out of Chicago. We were sponsored by The American Legion, V.F.W., AMVETS and others; the Norwood Park Imperials (Illinois American Legion Junior Champions), the Skokie Indians Senior Corps (National American Legion Champions), and V.F.W. Competitive Color Guard out of Bensenville, Ill. Presently with Griffith, Ind., American Legion 66 as post historian and "live bugler," along with participating with Bugles Across America, inducted into the Bugler's Hall of Fame. I've been blowing a bugle since 1953 and continue to do so, sort of a payback for the wonderful time the veterans organizations showed me in my youth.