Routt County to honor veterans

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With the recent death of a Hayden soldier and the involvement of Routt County residents with the war in Iraq, the flag-raising ceremonies and honorary dinners on Veterans Day will hold a special poignancy this year.

Routt County has more than 1,700 military veterans who will be honored Tuesday for Veterans Day.

The day's festivities will begin in Rout County with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Steamboat hosting its annual Veterans Day breakfast from 6 to 9 a.m. at the VFW Post. The group also will host a dinner at 6:30 p.m., which is also at the post.

Also on Tuesday, the Marines of Routt County will celebrate the 228th anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps, which was founded Nov. 10, 1775. The celebration will be held Tuesday night.

Routt County Veterans Affairs Officer Michael Condie encourages veterans to be a part of the day's events.

"We encourage you to attend this annual function and reacquaint yourself with old friends whom we have not seen for some time," Condie said.

Banks, county offices and the post office will be closed for Veterans Day.

"America's veterans have served in many wars in our country's history. Veterans Day is approaching and gives us pause to reflect on the terrible cost in lives America has paid to preserve its freedom," Condie said.

On Aug. 29, a Hayden man died when his convoy was ambushed 40 miles northeast of Baghdad.

Staff Sgt. Mark Lawton, a 41-year-old reservist with the 244th Engineer Battalion, was traveling with a small convoy of soldiers and died almost immediately when a bullet passed through the windshield of his vehicle.

During Lawton's memorial service, veterans, family and friends packed into the Routt County Fairgrounds to pay their respects to the fallen soldier.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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