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Veteran’s honored at community coffee

By Staff, 11/11/21 11:03 AM

PRESCOTT – Veterans weren’t forgotten Thursday when Veteran’s Day rolled around.

A community coffee was held at the Nevada County Courthouse with the Prescott High School band on hand, performing the “Star Spangled Banner” and the “Armed Forces March”. PHS student Cassidy Christopher sang “God Bless the USA”. Nathan Cody St.Clair, veteran service officer for Nevada County, emceed the event, thanking everyone for coming to honor the area’s veterans.

He gave the vets a chance to speak and recall their time in service. Curtis Lee Johnson told of his time in the Arkansas National Guard, drilling every Wednesday night and being sent to Little Rock for the Central High Crisis and to Pine Bluff after Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed. He stayed in the Guard until he reached mandatory retirement age and was mustered out at he rank of First Sgt.

Tommy Glass joined the Guard in 1977, serving under Johnson. In order to avoid doing any more than necessary, he said, he looked for MOS at the bottom of the list, eventually getting a chemical MOS. However, the list flipped in 2003 when weapons of mass destruction were thought to be in Iraq and he was now at the top of the list. Glass left the Guard in 2006, but said it should be mandatory for all students between high school and college as it teaches them self-respect, independence and willpower.

Rowe Stayton followed saying we’re lucky to live in this community as events like this help young people understand what the community is. He said women are a vital part of the service now and everyone, when they join, wonder why they did it. When soldiers are sent other places and look around, he said, they understand why they joined – to protect their homes and communities, their friends and loved ones. Serving, Stayton said, is an honor and people do it to defend our way of life.

George Hawthorn was a drill instructor, serving in the Army for 25 years. He said some people are made for the service and some aren’t. Some appear to be weak, but turn out to be the strongest there, while some bullies turn out to be weak. He said there’s nothing like being a soldiers and they couldn’t do it without the support of their families.

Nevada County Circuit Clerk Rita Reyenga said not all superheros wear capes, most wear uniforms and those who don’t serve don’t understand the sacrifices soldiers make, what made them do it or how they’re able to do what they do.

St.Clair presented flags to the oldest and youngest veterans there.