Routt County gears up for Veterans Day

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Robert Hayes, a veteran, salutes during the playing of Taps at the closing of the 2005 Veterans Day program in the Hayden High School auditorium.

If you go

What: Veterans Day activities

When: Saturday - Veterans Day breakfast is from 6:15 to 9 a.m. at the Veterans of Foreign Wars, 924 Lincoln Ave.; A visit with veterans is at 11 a.m. at the Doak Walker Care Center (meet at 10:30 a.m.); A cocktail hour for veterans is at 6 p.m. at the VFW; and a dinner for veterans, post members and family members is at 7 p.m. at the VFW.

A Veterans Day dinner and bingo is at 6 p.m. Saturday at the American Legion Bird-Howe Post in Yampa. Call Ed Farrington at 638-4465.

Call: For more information, or to RVSP to the dinner, call the VFW at 879-9959 or Jim Stanko at 879-3936.

— For many people, Saturdays are days for running errands and watching football. But this Saturday is a special day for Routt County's veterans and their families - it is a day to remember the men and women who have served in the U.S. military.

Michael Condie, a veterans affairs officer, said Veterans Day provides an opportunity for community members to thank veterans for their service.

"The question people should ask themselves is, what have veterans done for you? Do you enjoy the peace and freedom of the country you live in? If you live in this country, as an American citizen, then, yes, you do," he said. "The reason you enjoy the freedoms you do is because of the men and women who serve their country by being in the armed forces."

In honor of the county's veterans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Steamboat Springs is hosting a breakfast from 6:15 to 9 a.m. Saturday as well as a dinner for veterans, post members and their families. The dinner begins with a 6 p.m. cocktail hour at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post on Lincoln Avenue. To RSVP for the dinner, call the VFW at 879-9959 or Jim Stanko at 879-3936.

At 11 a.m. Saturday, about a dozen veterans and other interested community members will have coffee and visit with veterans who live at the Doak Walker Care Center. Anyone interested in attending should meet at the care center at 10:30 a.m. to get organized.

Stanko, the district commander for the American Leg-ion and the post adjutant for Legion posts 4264 and 44, said visiting the center is one of the day's most important activities because there are several residents there who served.

"We like to have coffee, chat with them and let them know that we haven't forgotten them," he said.

Veterans Day, which is celebrated every Nov. 11, is a day set aside for Americans to thank living veterans and acknowledge the sacrifices they have made to serve their country, Stanko said.

Students at Soda Creek Elementary School honored veterans during a tribute Wednesday. Students at Hayden Middle School honored their community's veterans during a luncheon Thursday.

Bill Perot, commander of Hayden's American Legion post 89, said several veterans planned on giving a presentation on flag folding for the students after the children had completed their presentation.

"We're going to do a little thing on the folding of a flag to help them understand what each folds means. Every year we try to do something different for them," he said.

In South Routt, Ed Farrington, the post adjutant for American Legion Bird-Howe post 189, said veterans will do a similar flag presentation for students at South Routt Elementary School on Monday.

On Saturday, there will be a potluck dinner and bingo at the post in Yampa. The post will provide meat and drink, and the public is invited and encouraged to bring a covered dish. During the dinner, Bryan Luark, who was chosen by the post to attend the annual Boys State conference, will give a presentation about his experiences.

"We're glad to have anyone," Farrington said. "Veterans Day is for the community."

- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234 or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

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