VFW Post 6020 honors veterans

VFW Post 6020 honors veterans
VFW Post 6020 in Daleville honored the nation's veterans on Monday, Nov. 12, during its Veterans Day Ceremony.

VFW Post Commander Ken Robillard shared the history of Veterans Day and the reason it is celebrated. He shared that Veterans Day was first recognized as Armistice Day to honor the armistice that ended World War I 100 years ago.

"In 1954, after World War II and Korea, it was renamed Veterans Day to honor all veterans who served in (the) war and defended democracy," he said. "So, today, we honor all our veterans who unselfishly placed their lives on the line for our freedom.

"Those men and women were ordinary people until they heard the call of duty and answered it. They left their families, their homes and their lives, not for recognition and fame or even the honor that we bestow upon them today. They fought to protect our country, to maintain our way of life."

Robillard said the "defense of freedom" is not just the cause of the American soldier. He said citizens could also protect their personal freedom through voting, "speaking out against injustices" or other actions like volunteering.

"Veterans Day isn't just a day for veterans," he said. "It's a day for all Americans. It is a day to remember why they were fighting and a day for all of us to begin our journey to protecting our freedom and the freedom of many future generations."

Lt. Col. Chris Mariani, commander of the 1st of the 223rd Aviation Regiment, spoke about the changes in celebrations of veterans and the sacred bond that veterans, themselves, share.

"Today is a day of tribute and reflection, but also, and perhaps most importantly, of celebration," Mariani said. "Veterans Day is a celebration of all those who have served and continue to serve our nation with honor and distinction.

"It is their loyalty to our country and their great courage that have made us what we are today and what we have been for more than two centuries: the land of the free because of the brave, a beacon of hope in an increasingly complex world."

The celebration of veterans has changed throughout history, but the country has come back to embrace "America's heroes," according to Mariani.

"Today, thankfully, we recognize all the heroic self sacrifice of all our veterans from all our wars," he said. "As a nation, we now recognize that the circumstances for which we fought are not nearly as important as the selfless service and selfless sacrifice to our nation."

Quoting Coolidge on forgetting a nation's protectors, Mariani said the Wiregrass region, especially Daleville, would never forget its veterans and soldiers.

"Veterans are a part of a uniquely American collective," he said. "Whenever America or her interests have been threatened, men and women across this greatest nation have risen to their defense. Whenever our freedoms have come under assault, we've responded with strength and purpose and resolve.

"Each of our veterans, along with their families, have sacrificed to serve that sacred pact between warrior and society that all of us hold so dear," he said.

He said it takes a "full team" to provide military support during war times.

"Only veterans understand this team concept and the sacrifice it takes to serve this great nation in times of war and during peace," he said.

Mariani reminded attendees that there are also veterans that are coping with "lingering" wounds and are working to transition back to civilian life after comba

AUSA 'supports whole Army'

AUSA 'supports whole Army'
AUSA Fort Rucker-Wiregrass Chapter President Col. (ret.) Mark Jones spoke about the importance of the organization and the chapter activities during the annual AUSA General Membership Luncheon held at the Daleville Cultural and Convention Center on Tuesday, Oct. 30.

Jones first spoke about the AUSA annual meeting and exposition in Washington D.C. He said 33,000 people from 80 foreign countries attended the event.

During the national conference, he said the Fort Rucker-Wiregrass Chapter of AUSA received 11 streamer awards at the Third Region Breakfast.

"I will tell you that the three that mean the most to me (are) Superior Chapter, Merit Chapter and, the one that absolutely means the most to me, Community Partner Support," he said. "We would not have been able to do this, get ourselves in this little bitty corner of Alabama back on the map with national without your support. I want to thank you very, very much."

Jones also introduced the leadership of the local chapter. He recognized First Vice President Doug Wynn, Vice President of Fundraising Ingrid Strange, Executive Secretary Tanya Hatley, Treasurer Sgt. Maj. (ret.) Sam Macmaster, Vice President of NCO and Soldier Affairs Command Sgt. Maj. (ret.) Otis Smith, Vice President of Public Relations LeeAnn Capps, Vice President of Young Professionals Kurt Kline Jr. and Vice President of Membership Mike Schmitz.

"These are people who volunteer their time to take care of this association, Fort Rucker and our National Guard and reserve soldiers throughout the area," he said.

Jones said many people have heard of AUSA, but many do not know what the organization does.

"I got to thinking about it, and I said, 'We have got to figure out a better way to get the word out to our local communities,'" he said. "They do dearly love (Fort Rucker).

"In short, the Association of the United States Army is the only non-profit, educational, professional development association that supports America's whole Army."

He said the organization is "a voice" and provides "support for the soldier." He said other organizations are only able to support sections, or branches, of the Army, AUSA focuses on the Army as a whole.

"The chapter leadership fully understand that we must do a better job at getting the word out and staying connected to the communities with the Wiregrass that support Fort Rucker, the mission of the Aviation Center of Excellence, the tenant organizations assigned to Fort Rucker and our National Guard and Army reservists in the area," he said. "We are ready, at any time, to speak to your city councils, chambers of commerce, veterans organizations, civic organizations, church committees and any others who would like to know what we're doing for soldiers and families throughout the Wiregrass."

Jones also spoke about the growing national membership of the organization, which helps the Army at the congressional level.

"AUSA has 123 chapters in nine regions worldwide, supporting our members and their communities," he said. "Wherever you go, AUSA is there.

"In the last two years, AUSA membership has grown from just under 70,000 members to over 132,000 members."

He said an increase in membership gives the organization's national leadership the support to speak with congressional representatives on behalf of the Army.

He said AUSA works to inform Congress about the needs of the Army, especially to try to affect change in funding from the government that has been "erratic" and "unpredictable" in the past.&

Daleville Christmas Parade

Daleville Christmas Parade
The Theme for this year’s parade will be “Starry Nights”. We would like to take this opportunity to invite you to participate. We hope each and every one of you will take part in this event and join with us as we celebrate the city we call home and the reason for the season. Immediately following the parade please join us, as Daleville Mayor Jayme Stayton will flip the switch illuminating the city’s Christmas tree on the Daleville

Senior Center Holiday Bazaar

Senior Center Holiday Bazaar
We invite everyone to come to our center located at 18 Old Newton Rd Monday thru Friday from 9-2 Novemeber 5th thru December 19th to shop for unique and special handcrafted gifts for all your loved ones. We have a variety of items from crochet items to decorative ornaments and hand sewn dolls plus lots more! All proceeds go straight back to our members.

Senior Center releases balloons for breast cancer awareness

Senior Center releases balloons for breast cancer awareness
Members of the Daleville Senior Center released around 30 balloons on Wednesday, Oct. 24, to remember those fighting, who have survived or who have lost a battle with breast cancer. Before the release, Senior Center Director Laura Leger provided senior center members with statistics and information about breast cancer. Leger told senior center members that breast cancer accounts for around 16 percent of cancers in women worldwide, and it is the second-most common cancer in the United States. She said there are currently more than 2.9 million women in the United States battling breast cancer. She also said that men can be affected by breast cancer as well. "It's very important that if you have anyone in your family that has had cancer of any time, you need to make sure that you're going and getting checked. It's very, very important," Leger said.
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