Clintonville man recognized for service to veterans
By Bert Lehman
Theodore (Ted) Kirmse, a member of VFW Post 664 in Clintonville, received the 2023 Bob Munro Memorial Service to Veterans Award.
Kirmse was presented the award by Paul Morrison, District 7 Bob Munro Award chairman, at a ceremony May 16 at VFW Post 664 in Clintonville.
The Bob Munro Award has been in existence for around 20 years. During that time, a member of VFW Post 664 in Clintonville has received the award five times.
“The purpose of the award is to honor those among and around us who go above and beyond ordinary efforts in support of veterans, active duty troops and their families,” Morrison said during the ceremony. “The award is named in honor of the late Bob Monroe.”
He added that Bob Monroe had a long history with the VFW.
Kirmse is a “Life Member” of VFW Post 664, and is qualified for the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) due to his U.S. Army service in Vietnam.
He served two tours in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division, achieving the rank of Platoon Sergeant of an infantry platoon. He earned the Combat Infantry Badge and two Bronze Stars with oak clusters.
Kirmse retired from the U.S. Army in 1978 as a sergeant first class.
After being a member of VFW Post 8491 in Prentice, Kirmse moved to Clintonville in 2002 and transferred his VFW membership to Post 664 in Clintonville.
Kirmse said he didn’t know many people in Clintonville, but once he joined VFW Post 664 he was put to work right away, and he continues to do work for Post 664. He added that after his wife passed away, doing projects for Post 664 helped keep him busy.
“Plus, I enjoyed working with the people,” Kirmse said.
Over the years, Kirmse supported all the officers of Post 664 and was selected Post 664 Senior Vice Commander in 2015 and 2016. He became the Post 664 Commander in June 2017 and held that position for five years.
Under Kirmse’s leadership, Post 664 was awarded the National VFW “Outstanding Community Post for 2021-2022” at the VFW National Convention in July 2022.
Since 2022, Kirmse has been actively involved in all Post 664 Honor Guard mission.
At the age of 86, Kirmse is still in charge of the joint VFW and American Legion Honor Guard, something he has been in charge of since 2019. He also ensures that all the flags and necessary equipment is ready for any funeral.
Kirmse also participates in planning and helping with many of the activities that Post 664 is involved in, including Buddy Poppy distribution, patriotic programs, flag etiquette programs and military funerals, among others.
When asked what he is most proud of regarding being a member of VFW Post 664, Kirmse replied, “Actually I can’t pinpoint one thing from the different things I have done. I guess what satisfied me most is the things accomplished by the Post and seeing the things done for the community.”
He added that receiving the Bob Munro award means a lot to him.
“For me to get it is kind of a recognition of what I did,” Kirmse said.
He added that he still plans to be involved with many activities that VFW Post 664 does.
“I’m proud to be of service,” Kirmse said. “I’m proud of the VFW and my service and everything. I guess I’m just a proud person about the military and about this country.”