Delegates from the Moscow School of Political Studies visit members of the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, Gateway Chapter last week at the Affton Elks Lodge in south St. Louis County.

The University of Missouri–St. Louis’ Center for International Studies hosted delegates from the Moscow School of Political Studies last week – who during their annual weeklong stay in St. Louis – personally thanked Battle of the Bulge veterans for their service during World War II. The Russian group met with about 25 veterans at the Affton Elks Lodge in south St. Louis County and presented them with an evergreen tree will be planted at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis.

After 1941, Russia, the U.S. and England joined the fight against Germany and its allies. May 8 is Victory in Europe Day, a day marking the end of the war and one that is still vigorously celebrated in Russia. To honor this day, the Russian delegates wanted to pay tribute to St. Louis World War II veterans and hear their stories from that time.

The veterans, in return, gave the delegates a book, “Victory Through Valor: A Collection of World War II Memoirs,” by George Despotis, Don Korte and Matt Lary, as well as a photo of the Battle of the Bulge Monument and World War II GI Statue, which are both in Jefferson Barracks Park.

Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge’s Gateway Chapter present at the meeting included, Ray Saul (4th Infantry Division); Dick Cotter (26th Infantry Division); Bernie Schwender (78th Infantry Division); Billy Stiegemeier (87th Infantry Division); Richard Coyle (28th Infantry Division); Kent Stephens, president, (26th Infantry Division); Barny Baker (328th Fighter Control Squadron); Don Green (106th Infantry Division); Clyde Erb (26th Infantry Division); Eugene Ganz (1st Infantry Division); Glen Jarvis (467th AAA AW); Marvin Korte (84th Infantry Division); Ralph Forys (26th Infantry Division); Stanley Gibson (99th Infantry Division); Harold Mueller (110th AAA 90MM MBL); and Rusty Pendleton (11th Armored Division).

The Russian delegates were, llya V. Savchenko, Timur Botvin, Roman Ryabintsev, Georgy Kaytukov, Magomed Magomedomarov and Natalya Paleeva.

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Kylie Shafferkoetter

Kylie Shafferkoetter