|Lorraine and Warren Sweetman|
Warren Sweetman would sit at the counter in Popi’s Place IV eating breakfast, one of the regulars who enjoyed the family diner in Ellenton.
New patrons might take him for another retiree until they spotted his World War II veterans ballcap.
Maybe they’d nod respectfully and leave it at that.
Or maybe they’d ask him about the war.
Whether they did, the decorated infantryman was content to be in their company.
“When I see a family ... at the restaurant, I just feel like I had the privilege to fight so those people could go and do that,” he told the Bradenton Herald in 2004.
It’s a shame they won't see him anymore.
Sweetman died Oct. 23.
The former construction worker and Palmetto volunteer firefighter was 89.
Pancreatic cancer did what German artillery and machine gun fire could not.
Another member of the Greatest Generation is gone.
Sweetman will be memorialized at a military service 3 p.m. Nov. 16, at Impact Community Church, 209 Seventh St. W., Palmetto.
Read more Sunday in Mannix About Manatee on Bradenton.com.