Vets honored with raising of stars and stripes | RecordCourier.com

Vets honored with raising of stars and stripes

by Sarah Hauck
shauck@recordcourier.com

"For some it was just yesterday; For some it's been many years; In the jungle or the desert, On land or on the sea, They did whatever was assigned to produce a victory," is the first stanza of "They did their share" by Joanna Fuchs.

Carson Valley began paying tribute to veterans Monday who served on land, at sea and in the air, with celebrations continuing today.

East Side Memorial Park raised more than 60 American flags to surround the cemetery Monday morning.

"I love to do this," Cemetery Owner Irene Shahin said. "They've (veterans) done amazing things for us so I like to do things for them, to honor them. That's why we do this, to honor the military."

Shahin repaired the collection of flags that were run up flag poles surrounding the cemetery.

The flags are from the caskets of veterans buried at the park, that were donated by the families.

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More than a dozen Tahoe Douglas Elks and for the first time, members of Welcome All Veterans Everywhere, raised a flag on the center flag pole of the park as well as placing hundreds of miniature flags on the graves of veterans buried at the park.

The Elks have placed flags at the gravesides for more than 20 years on both Veterans' Day and Memorial Day

The partnership with WAVE was a welcome addition.

"I absolutely love it," Elk and WAVE member John Louritt said of the new partnership at the park. "We have never had a ceremony to put the flags up before. It is nice to have them involved. The camaraderie and honor are big between these two groups. "

Louritt is a certified Nevada veteran advocate.

He is a Marine Corps Vietnam veteran who enjoys the Elks and WAVE's efforts to honor veterans.

"I have two reasons to want to celebrate Veterans' Day," he said. "One, my dad is buried right over there. He was a Navy vet. And two, we've got to honor vets. They deserve this."

Many of the Elks present on Monday are also WAVE members, creating overlaps in the effort to honor the 5,600 veterans in Douglas County.

WAVE President Carl Schnock said that being involved with the flag ceremony is a way to continue the group's focus of assisting veterans.

"This helps restore pride for what we did as veterans and for those that aren't veterans it lets them in on the camaraderie that service can create," the Vietnam veteran said.

Army Calvary veteran Jim Schramm has been helping place flags at the veterans of East Side Memorial Park's gravesides for 22 years.

As an Elk member, Schramm feels the annual honor for veterans lives up to the club's goals.

"One of the Elks' credos is 'as long as there are veterans, they will be remembered.' That's why we are here," he said.

Many of the WAVE members and Elks who helped raise flags at the memorial park, were also present at the Douglas County Community & Senior Center's annual USO show, Monday morning as well.

Accompanied by nearly 100 members of the communities, many of whom were veterans, representatives from the county and state helped pay tribute to veterans.

"My generation is often stereotyped as not knowing what it is like to fight for your family in a time when the country is in turmoil," Senior Services Manager Travis Lee said. "We as a young family in this community use this time as a way to reflect on the significance of service and I think you for the opportunity that our country is free. I get to take my little boy to the cemetery and place flags and we have a discussion about the significance of what you've done. We can't think you enough for your service and sacrifice."

In a presentation that included a sing-along of 'God Bless America' accompanied by Regency Strings, the community senior's USO show was recognized for its dedication to honoring and paying tribute to the community's veterans.

"Community events like today is proof that the goal of Gov. Brian Sandoval's office to serve and never forget the sacrifice and service of our veterans," Cesar Melgarejo, representative from the governor's office said before presenting the community center with a certificate of recognition for their 2015 USO show.

The show included pieces of Wayne Scarpaci, naval artist and historian, sharing the story of the USS Nevada, as well as the benefits of Honor Flight Nevada from Gold Star Mom, Sally Wiley.

Veterans' Day events taking place today:

Carson Valley Inn hosts free Veterans Day Spaghetti Lunch 11 a.m.-2 p.m. today in the Valley Ballroom is open to all Veterans and Active Military plus one guest.

WAVE hosts picnic noon-2 p.m. today at Lampe Park in Gardnerville. All are welcome to celebrate veterans and learn about the purpose and goals of WAVE.

Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center offers free admission Wednesday. Special military collections will be on display. Light refreshments served from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. The museum is located at 1477 Highway 395, Gardnerville.

Banks, schools, government offices and the post office will be closed.