Ceremonies to honor veterans and their sacrifices

Kevin Spradlin Richmond County Daily Journal

November 5, 2013

Veterans, family members and the general public are invited to two prominent Veterans Day events in Richmond County later this week.

Veterans Day isn’t until Monday, but local groups have set aside Friday and Saturday to honor American military members who have served — and died — defending our country’s ideals.

On Friday, Richmond County Hospice presents its annual “Salute to Veterans” at 11 a.m. at the hospice grounds, located at 1119 U.S. Route 1 North. Registration begins at 10 a.m.

Festivities include the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard, K2 Solutions demonstration with military dogs and the 82nd Airborne Division band. Pending approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, there also will be an all-veteran parachute team.

The guest speaker will be Army Major Tony Vacha, doctrine developer for the Civil Affairs Branch at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg.

Lunch will be served at 1 p.m. Veterans should call 910-997-4464 to R.S.V.P.

On Saturday, the American Legion Post 147 will host a joint effort at Richmond County Veterans Memorial Park. The park is situated south of Highway Business 74 off of Caroline Street and across from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4203.

The centerpiece of the ceremony will be the honoring and recognition of four previous and current veteran services officers — those who, as civilians, help former service members access the benefits they’ve earned. VSOs to be recognized date back to 1960 and include Jack Ingram, Terry Wallace, Leroy Crowder, Woodrow “Buddy” Herring and Tonya Hildreth.

The Richmond Senior High School’s J.R.O.T.C. unit will raise the flag and Paul Kiebler, chaplain of VFW Post 4203, will lead the pledge of allegiance.

Charlie Tyler, with AmVets Post 316, will offer a closing prayer.