Fitz Cerny, born in Germany, fought Communists for America | A salute to veterans

Fitz Cerny - Tracey Compton/Renton Reporter
Fitz Cerny
— image credit: Tracey Compton/Renton Reporter

The Renton Reporter’s Tracey Compton interviewed four veterans, all members of the American Legion in Renton, to learn about their service to our country.

The interviews were conducted just before an American Legion open house at which legion members of the Fred Hancock Post 19 explained the many services and programs provided to veterans of America’s wars and their families.

Renton’s veterans are served by a number of organizations, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars, with posts in downtown Renton and Skyway. And Renton has a new Veterans Affairs office that helps homeless veterans find a place to live.

Fitz Cerny joined the U.S. Army in 1952 to fight the “Commies,” as he calls them.

Cerny was born in southeast Germany, which is Polish now, and in 1950 escaped from Czechoslovakia to flee Communism.

He was a sergeant and arrived in Korea the summer of 1954.

When asked why he served this country, Cerny replies, “Well, I had no place to go and so I joined the U.S. Army to fight the Commies, who screwed up my homeland.”

Thanks to congressional authorization, Cerny was able to serve in the U.S. military even though he was a foreigner.

He saw it as not only an opportunity to “lick the Commies,” but become a U.S. citizen and go to college on the G.I. Bill.

In Korea with much of the shooting over, Cerny patrolled the military zone.

He got out of the Army in 1957 and pursued mechanical engineering in college.

Boeing hired him in 1961 and that’s how he moved out to Washington state.

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