Tuscarora Township Supervisor Adds WWII Army Soldier’s Signature to Long List of Veterans

Over the years, Tuscarora Township Supervisor Mike Ridley has tried to get as many veterans as he could to sign the back of his poster showing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

He’s collected hundreds, ranging from World War II all the way to present day. “Very important to me and it seems to be very important to those that are signing this poster,” he said. “Let’s them know that their service has been appreciated.”

When Ridley leaves his position as township supervisor, he also plans to also leave the poster behind. “When I leave I’m going to have it framed with a plexiglass back so 100 years from now–I’m going to leave it in the building–people will be able to flip it over and see the signatures of perhaps their great great grandfather who was a veteran,” he said.

On Thursday, he was able to add another World War II veteran, 97-year-old Thomas Cook, who was drafted at 18 years old. “They needed a bunch of troops over fighting,” he said. “So they took me and I was a machine gunner. Water cooling 30-caliber, which was an exciting little weapon to have.”

Cook was involved in the Battle of the Bulge, a battle that paved the way for victory for the allies. “We didn’t know it was the battle of the bulge,” he said. “We didn’t know that until later on in the newscasts but it was pretty horrific as far as activity was concerned. A lot of shooting going on.”

Cook is one of only a few World War II Veterans to add his name to the list.

Categories: Veterans Resources