Wednesday, November 25, 2015 • 12:21

Jack Vosberg honored as World War II Veteran

Bill Paulson stands with Jack Vosberg on the San Diego Honor Flight to Washington, D.C.
June 18, 2014
Longtime Valley Center resident Jack Vosberg was given top priority as a survivor of World War II and one of America's most senior heroes during a Mission of Honor recently. A San Diego Honor Flight flew 80 World War II Veterans to Washington, D.C. for a special trip to view most of D.C.'s memorials. Fellow Optimist Club member Bill Paulson accompanied Vosberg on the Tour of Honor, which entailed visits to the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam, Korea, and Iwo Jima Memorials, Arlington National Cemetery, and the World War II Memorial.

For most veterans, the highlight of the tour is a stop to reflect upon the World War II Memorial. Built nine years ago, the memorial features a wall of 4,000 gold stars. Each star represents 100 fallen servicemen. Almost everyone on the trip knew someone who had been killed in combat.

Vosberg was part of the Army's 45th Infantry in France and in December 1944 was medically evacuated back to his home in the U.S.

Returning to Lindberg Field, the veterans were overwhelmed by the reception received as they were greeted with applause and cheers from an enthusiastic crowd gathered to welcome them back.

The trip was subsidized by Honor Flight San Diego, a non-profit organization staffed by volunteers dedicated to honoring America's veterans. Honor Flight San Diego is funded by private donations from individuals, business owners, foundations, associations, and corporations as a way of thanking veterans for their service to citizens of the United States. Twice each year, a charter plane takes a new group to the nation's capital. They stay in a Hilton, are treated to banquets, and spend a 10-hour day touring monuments.

David A. Smith, Chairman and founder of Honor Flight San Diego, made the following statement:

"Of all the wars in recent memory, it was World War II that truly threatened our very existence as a nation and as a culturally diverse, free society. Thank you to all of our veterans and a special thanks to our most senior World War II Veterans for their dedication and commitment to protecting the freedom enjoyed by so many citizens of the greatest nation on earth, The United States of America. Now, with over 1,000 World War II Veterans dying each day, our time to express our thanks to the brave men and women is running out."

On June 5th, 31 days after returning home from the Honor Mission, Vosberg died in his sleep at 1:30 p.m. He was 91. Highly regarded in the community, he was also recognized as Citizen of the Year. More than 30 years ago, Vosberg was a founder of the Valley Center Optimists and remained an active member involved in Optimist charities which included Boy and Girl Scouts, girls' softball, 4-H, Just Say No, and scholarship funds.

Every year, the Jack Vosberg Community Service Scholarship is awarded to essay winners of graduating seniors at Valley Center High School. The topic of the essays is announced at the beginning of the annual Honorary Mayor's Race.

The purpose of the Mayor's Race is to raise funds for each candidate's sponsored organization and for the Jack Vosberg Community Service Scholarship. Each year, the scholarship winner is presented by a committee comprised of all candidates who participate in the Honorary Mayor's Race. Ten percent of the raised funds benefit the Jack Vosberg Scholarship.

Jack Vosberg was an icon here in Valley Center for a number of years," said Paulson. "He was active in the Optimists and in the military served his time in France. He was a very humble, aw shucks kind of guy.

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