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Thomas Green, director of Cass County Veterans Affairs, and Victor Schug have been helping replace headstones for military men who never received them or were in need of repair. (Leader photo/Provided)
Thomas Green, director of Cass County Veterans Affairs, and Victor Schug have been helping replace headstones for military men who never received them or were in need of repair. (Leader photo/Provided)

Archived Story

Schug, Green making sure veterans receive their due

Published 11:21am Thursday, November 7, 2013

What started out as a family genealogy project for Victor Schug turned into so much more.

The trail led him all the way back to the Civil War.

“Slowly it worked its way into finding somebody who was a military veteran from the Civil War and a World War I veteran who never had a tombstone or didn’t have a plaque on their stone getting recognition for serving their country,” Schug said.

“One thing led to another and I got hooked up with Tom (Thomas Green, director of Cass County Veterans Affairs). Green as part of his job was in a position to help Schug with his project.

The two of them have worked on getting five veterans a new headstone or a plaque for their resting place.

“We will just keep working our way along,” Schug said. “I think I am going to stop and then I find another project.”

It all started with a Civil War headstone that was barely readable. Information for Daniel Cundick, who served in the Michigan Infantry, was researched by Schug. Green filled out the necessary paperwork and the Veterans Administration paid to have the stone replaced.

It was delivered to Schug and Green who replaced the dilapidated one.

More stones and plaques were to follow, including Schug’s uncle Harold Gebhard, who never had any mention of his service to the country noted on his headstone.

A bronze plaque was secured by the pair and placed on Gebhard’s headstone.

Among the cemeteries that Schug and Green have been working in are Howardsville Cemetery East of Marcellus and the Three Rivers Cemetery.

“Along with it, I try to reconstruct some of their lives,” Schug said. “Where did they come from? When did they come to the United States, because in many cases they came from somewhere else? What did they do during their life?”

Schug and Green are currently working on a stone for Chauncey Tinker, who fought in the War of 1812.

“Victor is great about doing all the leg work,” Green said. “I handle the paperwork.”

That paperwork has been submitted and now they wait to hear back from the Veteran’s Administration about a new headstone for Tinker.

While neither would say how much longer they would continue the project, Schug and Green said they will continue to follow leads as they present themselves.

And with Veteran’s Day Monday, there is no more fitting way to honor the service of the country’s military men than making sure they receive the credit they are do. No matter how long that might take.

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