Mayor Bettencourt presents a Challenge Coin to Lillian

By Barry Lischinsky, Membership Chairman

On Sunday, November 11, 2018, Jewish War Veterans (JWV) Massachusetts (MA) North Shore Post 220 Members participated in the City of Peabody, MA Veterans Day event.  Approximately three hundred (300) Veterans, families and guests attended this year’s City of Peabody Mayor’s Breakfast event thanking all community Veterans for their service.  This year’s event was dedicated to the service of Women in the Military.  The keynote speaker of the event was JWV MA Post 220 Lillian Aronson.  Lillian was born on July 1, 1917 in Salem, MA, and she is the oldest member of JWV.

In 1935, she graduated from Salem, MA High School.  Lillian felt it was important to contribute to the War effort, so contribute she did.  At the age of 26, she volunteered and joined the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC).  Lillian’s military service spans over 20 years – paving the way for Women in the military today.

Lilian, at the young age of 101, remains active today as a volunteer for both the Jewish War Veterans Massachusetts, and the Disabled American Veterans.  On occasions, you may hear Lillian’s voice as she maintains the “Birthday List” of fellow Veterans

Lillian Aronson, the keynote speaker

at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, where she resides today.

Also, recognized during this event was JWV MA Post 220 Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Donna Lehman.  In 2003, LTC Lehman served during Operation Iraqi Freedom as a Chief Nurse of a Forward Surgical Team located in Kuwait.  Attached to the 1st Armored Division with a unit from Walter Reed Hospital, she then was then stationed in Baghdad serving as the Chief Nurse of an Intensive Care Unit.  Extended on Active Duty with her unit she was redeployed to Najaf in April 2004. In mid-July 2004, LTC Lehman returned to Fort Dix, New Jersey.  Many that attended the 2018 Veterans Day event remember LTC Donna Lehman as the 2011 Veterans Day keynote speaker.

In keeping with the theme of City of Peabody’s Veterans Day event of Women in the Military, to quote a past Veterans Affairs article, “Women are now the fastest-growing subgroup of U.S. Veterans. The number of women Veterans is expected to increase dramatically in the next ten years.”   From the generation of Sargent First Class Lillian Aronson to the generation of LTC Donna Lehman, we are reminded of our Hebrew term L’ dor V’dor, meaning “from generation to generation.”   Special thanks to Mayor Bettencourt, Peabody Veterans Agent Steve Patten and the Peabody Veterans Council for recognizing all Veterans and their families.

Volume 72. Number 4. Winter 2018