Davenport, Iowa – The Veterans of Underage Military Service (VUMS) hold their 26th Annual Reunion on April 23-25, 2018, at the Best Western Plus Steeplegate Inn in Davenport, Iowa.  This organization is composed of men and women who enlisted in a U.S. military service before being of legal age to do so.  While many enlisted at age 15 or 16, a good number did so as early as 12, and some were in combat at age 13.

The public is invited to visit during the reunion, see the displays in the hotel lobby, and talk to the VUMS members.  Chat with USAF retired Major Jerry French, who enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps at 16, and subsequently flew 50 bombing missions over Central Europe in WWII as Aircraft Commander of a B-24 Liberator 4-engine bomber at the age of 19.  Or speak to VUMS founder Al Stover, who enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard at age 14.  Stover later contacted all the military services and received policy letters from each stating that underage enlistees would not be punished if their service was otherwise honorable.

Often during the WWII era, service members found to be underage were punished, given less than honorable discharges, and relieved of their decorations.

We are also looking for new members who meet the qualifications as stated above.  For more information about this organization, go to www.oldvums.org

Local Contact: John Rutledge, 309-792-1398

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