World War II veterans to be honored |

World War II veterans to be honored

Chris Outcalt
Vail CO, Colorado

EAGLE-VAIL ” Local World War II veterans Herb Rubinstein and Higinio Romero are quick to deflect any recognition of their military service.

Rubinstein, an Edwards resident, was a member of the 89th Infantry Division in Europe from 1943-1946. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge and holds the Combat Infantry Badge ” a recognition of his service as a combat solider in World War II.

Romero, who lives in Minturn, served as a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps for three years during World War II. He was assigned to the 456th Bombardment Group where he worked mostly as a radio technician in Italy.

Both will be honored a the Freedom Park Community Dance fund-raising event scheduled for 6-9 p.m. Monday at the Eagle-Vail Pavilion.

A time to remember

The honor isn’t about him ” it’s a time to remember those that died fighting in World War II, Rubinstein said.

“It’s not an award to me, all I did was live,” Rubinstein said. “It’s an award to those people in those graves.”

Rubinstein stressed the importance of World War II as a time when the country was more in jeopardy than it has ever been.

“I think it’s in memory of those young men that gave their lives so that we can live safely,” he said.

Rubinstein was a member of the Allied troops that advanced across the Rhine river, further into Germany ” a pivotal point in the war.

He remembers crossing the body of water at 5 a.m. in the morning in a boat while under machine gun fire. They were eventually able to help liberate prisoners from Jewish concentration camps, he said.

“That was a horrendous thing to see those people,” he said. “It was a particular poignant moment to me because I’m of the Jewish faith and if I had lived in Europe I would have been in a slave labor camp.”

Rubinstein credits his time in Europe as the reason why he ended up in Colorado. It was in Europe where he learned to ski.

“I had never skied, I was terrified,” he said. “And that’s why I probably ended up here, I probably would have been in Miami Beach.”

Involved in the community

In addition to his service in the military, Romero has been a prominent member of the Vail Valley community. He’s served as Commander of the Minturn VFW Post 10721, was a Democratic precinct captain, a Union Pacific Railroad employee, worked 23 years at the Gilman mine and for 12 years with the Town of Vail maintenance department.

He said Monday’s event is more about recognizing the importance of the local VFW than honoring anything he’s done.

“I don’t feel like it should be so much for me,” Romero said.

The event will include presentations honoring Rubinstein and Romero, music by the Tony Gulizia Trio, a turkey buffet, an open bar and a silent auction. A single ticket for the event costs $35; couples can attend the event for $60. All the money raised will go towards the Veterans and EMS Educational Center in Edwards. For more information or to purchase tickets for the event, contact VFW Adjutant Buddy Sims at 445-7573.

“The whole point is to honor veterans for service to their country and county,” Sims said.

Staff Writer Chris Outcalt can be reached at 970-748-2931 or

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