Saluting our veterans |

Saluting our veterans

Paul Harr and daughter Paula Ashworth enjoy the Senior Center activities on Wednesday.
Sarah Drinkwine

More than 5,000 veterans call Douglas County their home. Those men and women as well as veterans across the nation were recognized and honored during the Veterans Day Celebration ceremony Wednesday at the Douglas County Community and Senior Center.

Travis Lee, community services manager of Douglas County, said the event is an opportunity to spend needed time to recognize and honor veterans in the community.

“Not only have they served our country, but they continue to serve our community,” Lee said. “It’s a spirit of recognition and love for those who have served.”

The community center’s Brighter Days Preschool led the ceremony with the Pledge of Allegiance. Followed by the Star Spangled Banner performed by Douglas High School’s “Dynamics” choir and performances from Paw-Wa-Lu Middle School’s band and choir.

“It puts life into perspective with everything that is going on in the world today and to just be grateful,” said Paw-Wa-Lu eighth-grader Iris Niccoli.

“It’s a day to pay our respects to those who have served our country and to pay respect to all the things we have,” added eighth-grader Amara Brown.

Glenna Smith, a representative from Sen. Dean Heller’s office, said Veterans Day is every day for her because of her dedicated service in supporting veterans. She read a letter of appreciation from the senator.

“Today we honor those who have literally given their all, a day to celebrate all U.S. Military,” read the letter. “Let us remain mindful of the sacrifices they have made and continue to make.”

All branches of the military along with veterans who served in World War II, Vietnam, Korea and Iraq were present.

“It’s incredible we have six WWII vets in our midst,” said Eric Chennault of Wheelers for the Wounded of California and Nevada.

Veterans services such as Wheelers for the Wounded of California and Nevada and W.A.V.E attended the ceremony to encourage veterans to seek benefits they deserve.

“You put in your time. You put your life on the line, you deserve it,” said Chennault.

Carl Schnock of W.A.V.E. said 10 percent of the population are veterans.

“We build ramps, widen door ways, find jobs and provide food and housing for veterans,” he said. “ We helped a veteran found behind Walmart last winter who now has a job, a home and is a productive citizen. We welcome all veterans and we appreciate them all.”

The ceremony closed with a performance by Paw-Wa-Lu Middle School choir singing “Everyday Heros,” and a video with a saluting message to those in attendance.

“For the heros who left the comfort and safety of home to protect and fight for our freedom. We are grateful to those at home waiting, loving and hoping. Thank you for your courage, commitment, sacrifice, for all you have given for this country, for freedom. Words don’t express our appreciation enough. We salute you.”