Veterans Remembered at Mission Viejo Elks Lodge
November 10, 2015
Feature and Photography by Mike Klinger
Respect. Honor. Gratitude. This was the theme for the Veterans Day Ceremony at the Mission Viejo Elks lodge on Tuesday evening. The meeting hall was filled with family and friends of Elk Veterans that were in attendance and even some that were not able to make the celebration. Master of Ceremonies and US Air Force Veteran, Jim Humphrey PER, kicked-off the meeting with the parade of flags presented by Boy Scout Troop 603. Past Veterans Chairman and Vietnam Veteran, Dennis Lumley, spoke of “when the attack on came 9/11 it awakened the sleeping giant. This was our generations “Pearl Harbor” and the country came together in harmony for a united cause”. Guest Speaker and NAVY Veteran, Jim Vecchio PDDGER LaHabra #2085, spoke of contributions and sacrifices, responsibilities and freedom. Our final guest Speaker is new MV Elks member, Brian Goodell, Community Services Commission, City of Mission Viejo and a Gold Medal winner in the 1976 Olympics in swimming. Brian mentioned to the guests various opportunities that the City of Mission Viejo has to offer its’ veterans.
With many veterans in attendance, Lodge Esquire and Veteran Day Chairman, Mike Klinger, along with Lodge Chaplain, Dave Tucker, circulated throughout the room and had a brief chat with a few veterans. Lodge Trustee, Frank Scarpine Jr (US NAVY, Aviation Ordnancemen, USS Hornet, recovered Apollo 10, 11 and 12, Vietnam War Veteran), new member, Rick Hagan ( US NAVY, Aviation Electrician, USS Enterprise, Vietnam War Veteran), Don Klinger (US Marines, Staff Sergeant, Korean War Veteran), George Cleaver (US ARMY, served in Okinawa during Vietnam War, 24 years Elk member), Larry Colgan (Air Force Sergeant, served 4 years in Turkey), Tom Banning (US Air Force, Colonel, served 27 years, Commander, Minuteman Missile Combat Crew, 28 year Elk member), Clint Ferguson (US Air Force, Major, Pilot, flew Strategic Air Command and 46 combat missions in Vietnam war), Tommy Dobsch (US Marines, MSgt, served in Japan, Philippines and South Korea during Operation Team Spirit, 18 year Elk member), Charles Hart, (US ARMY, PFC, Korea during peace time, 17 year Elk member), Tom Spry Sr (US ARMY, Vietnam, WW11 and Korea War Veteran, MV Elk #82) and Harvey Ohman (US ARMY, Staff Sergeant, Vietnam War Veteran). Other Veterans in the audience that were recognized were Mike Holohan PER, Lodge Advisor Norm Jones PDDGER, Trustee Dave Holbert, Hal Mattson PER, Richard Williams PER, Treasurer Bill Bongartz and Past Veterans Chairman Dennis Lumley. And to the others I may have missed, thank you for attending.
Winding down the meeting, Past District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler and Lodge Advisor, Norm Jones had some final words about our veterans, the sounds of Taps echoed throughout the lodge played by Ray Mallen and the guests all joined in to sing God Bless America to close the meeting. Thank you to everyone who supported our Veterans Day Ceremony especially to Laura Lumley, Cheryl Tucker and Judy Klinger who took time set-up the refreshment area.
To all our veterans that attended and those who could not, we sincerely appreciate your service to our country. Thank you to all.