Richmond County and Anson Community Hospice will honor veterans with a “Salute to Veterans” Friday morning.
The event will take place at 1119 U.S. Highway 1 north, and will begin when the MC, who will be parachuting into the event with the Golden Knights U.S. Army parachute team, lands.
“They are starting the event at 11 a.m., and the MC jumps out first,” said Kristina Leyden, director of Family Services and Inpatient Care at Richmond County Hospice. “There will be seven jumpers with flames and flags. It will end with the last person, who will have a POW flag and God Bless America will play. As long as it’s not windy, they should be jumping from 10,000 feet. We are really excited about it.”
The 82 Airborne Division All American Band will play the National Anthem, as well as the themes for the different branches of the military.
Guest speaker will be Major Michael Chagaris, nurse and associate professor of Military History at UNC Chapel Hill. He is also a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Lunch will be provided.
The event was born out of a desire to return appreciation to the community, said Leyden.
“Hospice nationally honors veterans through the We Honor Veterans program, where at the end of life, we hook them up with volunteers who are veterans,” said Leyden. “This gives them the opportunity to talk to someone about things they might have on their minds or things they have experienced. The community is always so supportive of us so we thought we would honor our community.”
Leyden said she expects a big crowd. She said she has received 182 RSVPs, so the caterer has planned for 275.
“It’s blown us away,” she said. “We thought 100 would be awesome.”
She said they also have active duty military from Camp Mackall coming to volunteer.
“We’ve had a lot of in-kind donations such as the tent and the chairs, and people have offered to come out to volunteer,” said Leyden.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.