In Our Midst


Dean Bartmess:   WWII Bronze Star Recipient

Combat Infantry Badge

The Bronze Star

    At 82, Dean loves to come to work at BVM.  Every workday at 8am for the past 15 years, Dean has greeted us with a smile and a friendly "Good Morning".

     At 18, Dean was engaged in the "Battle of the Bulge" in the closing months of WWII.  As a member of the 7th Armored Infantry, their mission was to clear out the last of the German Army from a wooded location in the Rhein Valley, Germany.  Dean, single handedly and without concern for his own safety, crept up to a machine gun emplacement, specifically to draw fire from the enemy.  This alerted his fellow marksmen of the exact location of the gun emplacement so that it could be taken out, and it was.

     Dean is very reserved about telling the details of his heroism, but on our trip to visit the magnificent WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. in June 08, and after 15 years of friendship, he finally shared this and a few other stories from that part of his life.

     Following his service in the Army, Dean continued his civilian education and had a career as a Commercial Art Director.

     His interest in Model Aviation and furniture making lead him to his semi-retirement position at BVM, and we are sure lucky that he found us.

     I was honored to be able to take Dean to the Memorial in Washington, D.C..  Another friend and modeler, Kemp Gallineau, a Senior V.P. of the Gaylord Entertainment Company arranged for the splendid accommodations at the brand new Gaylord National Harbor Resort on the Potomac River.

     After our tour of the WWII Memorial, Dean and I visited the Vietnam Memorial with its lengthy list of fallen warrior's names engraved in the Granite Plaques.

     A very pleasant tourist from the Netherlands wanted to meet this hero from the "Greatest Generation". She expressed her appreciation for Americans like Dean who liberated her country.

     Dean's place of birth was Marietta, Ohio, so we stopped for a photo at the column dedicated to the Ohio men who served and sacrificed.

     Dean enjoyed the view of the Potomac from our 3rd floor room at the Gaylord National Resort.

     It was a trip to remember.


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