Eldorado Villas honors resident veterans at event
Third annual celebration recognizes all the veterans' sacrifices
More than 50 Eldorado Villas residents gathered in the Clubhouse on Friday, Nov. 8, to honor their own veterans who had answered Uncle Sam's call to serve their country in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Cold War.
The third annual event was conducted by a new Eldorado group called the Committee to Honor Our Own - Veterans (CHOO-V).
Boy Scout Troop 419, under the direction of Scoutmaster Jamie Laflin, posted the colors with the color guard led by Kevin Laflin. This was followed by the pledge of allegiance and the singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
John Russie (Marines) presented a 46-star U.S. flag that has been in his family since 1935 and gave a short history of the 46th and 47th states to enter the Union; Rick Grigsby (Army) read Johnny Cash's poem, "That Ragged Old Flag."
"Reflections on the Blessings of America," a short piece written by Al Stefan, a one-time Eldorado resident and Army Air Corps veteran of the Alaska campaign, was read by Vi Rhoades
Gail Reimann, with Sheila Bonczek at the piano, led an old-fashioned sing-a-long of patriotic and World War II-era songs, such as "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition."
Veterans from the youngest to the oldest were honored, with John Weber (Army Air Corps) being the oldest at 95! All veterans from the individual branches of service were saluted by the other residents as they sang the song of each branch.
A special presentation to honor the memory of her husband was made to Rita Loberger, widow of long-time resident and former Army Capt. Frank Loberger, who passed away in July.
"A Veteran's Prayer" was read by Heidi Tanada (Marines) to honor the memory of those currently serving, killed, wounded or MIA and their spouses or surviving spouses and children.
Other veterans present included Al Norberg, Ted Reimann, Fred Stevens (Army); Ken Schroeder, Joe Vincent (Navy); Dale Miller and Sandie Robertson (Air Force); and Jim Miller, Sandie Robertson and Dick Siemers (Marines).
Most veterans brought mementoes to share, and everyone, including the Scouts, took a break from the program to browse through the selections. Members of Troop 419 enjoyed viewing and hearing about pieces of history that they haven't seen or heard before.
Colleen Hill read "A Recipe for Peace," after which everyone sang "God Bless America," and the colors were retired.
The veterans posed for a group photo, and the event was capped by a delicious appreciation brunch sponsored by park management.