MISHAWAKA -- From World War II, to the Korean war, to Vietnam: It traveled around the world, then made its way to our area.
17 years ago, A South Bend VFW Post had the honor of welcoming a special World War II weapon to the city, a howitzer.
Thursday was the final salute to the closing of VFW Post 1167 in South Bend, but they're joining forces with the Veterans from Post 360 in Mishawaka.
And these men took their trademark with them to their new post -- a 13,000-pound howitzer.
Vets say its new home will be a good one.
"When I was in the military I was stationed with a howitzer battery, and we used to man handle it by hand," said Gordon Turley, A World War II Veteran.
Turley remembers firing something just like this in 1966.
"When it goes off it makes a noise," he said.
Turley is now an avid member of VFW post 360 in Mishawaka. On Thursday his post welcomed "Big George" to the family.
"Means a lot really because I’ve always wanted to see it here or something like it and it's come true," Turley said.
Recently, South Bend's VFW Post 1167 closed because of both declining enrollment and funds. Now they're merging with VFW post 360 in Mishawaka and the vets decided to take it with them.
Escorted by police, the artifact traveled a few miles down the road to its new home.
"It’s nice knowing its going somewhere good," said Chris Bloss.
"It’s very emotional,” said his brother Jared Bloss. “I know how excited my grandfather was to do this."
The Bloss brothers have fond memories of this specific howitzer.
"I was no older than 8, painting on it,” Chris said. “I remember climbing to the top of the barrel, grandpa coming out yelling at me."
Their grandfather initially helped bring it to our area after the war ended.
"It took my grandpa quite a while to find it and get the right one located," Chris said.
For the Bloss brothers, this howitzer is a family emblem. Their one grandfather brought it to his VFW post in South Bend 17 years ago and now it's moved to a place where their other grandfather was a Commander -- at the post in Mishawaka.
"To us it's kinda sticking in the family," Jared said.
Keeping the howitzer in our area and merging two VFW posts will preserve the memories for many vets, holding on to those memories of fighting for our country.
"For me it's maintaining the history of the VFWs," Turley said.
Moving the howitzer between the cities was a team effort. The veterans of Clover Machinery Movers of Mishawaka moved it free of charge for the posts, saving both locations $2,500 dollars in relocation expenses.
So why is this howitzer called Big George? It's named after a World War II Veteran from South Bend who has passed away, George Grenert. He had a hand in bringing the howitzer to our area.