Lodge Supports City of Mission Viejo’s Viet Nam Vets Tribute Program
September 20, 2014
The Lodge provided over $5,000 and seventeen (17) volunteers to support the City of Mission Viejo’s Tribute Event for Viet Nam Veterans. Other major sponsors included Outback Steakhouse of Laguna Hills and Fujihara Wholesale Flowers of Mission Viejo.
Upon entering the Norman P Murray Community Center driveway, there were a group of cub scouts, boy scouts and their parents holding signs: Welcome Home and Thanks for Your Service. For some of the Viet Nam Veterans attending this tribute lunch, it was their first public event welcoming them home and thanking them for their service.
(above) Many local residents welcomed the Veterans in support as they arrived.
(below) Norman P. Murray Community Center Banquet room.
This tribute was attended by over 300 veterans, their guests and active members of all military services. After the welcome, presentation of colors (US Marines Color Guard), Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem (sung by Mya Shimizu, the Invocation (Chaplin Bill Cook, American Legion District 29) and introductory remarks by Mission Viejo Mayor Trish Kelly, lunch was served.
After lunch, two US Army Viet Nam combat veterans spoke to the attentive audience about some of their experiences during and after their service. For his service, Captain Wes Bickel received a Silver Star, Bronze Star 1st Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal, Purple Heart and other medals. For his service, Specialist Dennis Lumley received two Purple Hearts and other medals. Both are residents of Mission Viejo.
(above) Marine Corp Band, HQBN, 1st Marine Division.
(below) Mission Viejo Mayer, Trish Kelly (center) welcomes guests.
The honored guests were lead in a rendition of God Bless America by Mya Shimizu who also sang the Billy Ray Cyrus song, Some Gave All. There was a tribute to the POW/MIA’s of the Viet Nam conflict including a rifle salute by VFW Post 6020 and taps played by Ray Mallen (Elks volunteer). At the close of the tribute, the audience was entertained by the Marine Corps Band, HQBN, 1st Marine Division. This band performs at more than 400 ceremonies per year.
Elks Volunteers included: Kathy Andrews, Carol and Lloyd Bryan and grandson, Wendy Bucknum, Andy Dumont, Gail Fasi, Sandy and Jack Jacobs, Marie Jacobs, Laura and Dennis Lumley, Ray Mallen, Sandi McClure, Gail Patti, Dave Perry and Julie Thomas.
Hal Mattson, Lodge Publicity
Mission Viejo / Saddleback Valley Elks Lodge No. 2444