Veterans Bob McConnell and Loretta Kuhlman salute Doak Walker Care Center resident veteran Lee Willman on Friday during a Veterans Day ceremony.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Veterans Bob McConnell and Loretta Kuhlman salute Doak Walker Care Center resident veteran Lee Willman on Friday during a Veterans Day ceremony.

Steamboat Springs care center honors veterans at reception

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Veterans honored

Ten residents of the Doak Walker Care Center were honored at Friday’s ceremony:

Joanne Cannon

Alice Ebeling

Bud Goddard

George Hart

Alfred Kahn

Don Lufkin

Thomas Rozinka

Emmett VanCleave

Donald White

Lee Willman

— Joanne Cannon’s memories of World War II have stayed strong with her. Some are good memories and some are not so good, she recalled Friday.

But having a day like Veterans Day to celebrate and honor her and her fellow veterans means the world to her.

“It’s a joyous day, being with friends and reminiscing about old times,” she said.

A resident of the Doak Walker Care Center and a Navy auxiliary laboratory technician, Cannon was one of ten residents honored at an annual ceremony Friday morning, which the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion members also attended.

During the brief presentation, each resident was presented a red corsage as members of the Legion saluted them.

That simple gesture elicited, at the very least, a small smile from the more immobile veterans while several saluted back.

Yampa Valley Medical Center public relations director Christine McKelvie said the event also honored veterans who work at the hospital and veterans who had family that worked there.

“It’s so nice to connect with more veterans and learn their stories,” McKelvie said.

For most of the reception, the room at the Doak was crowded as people milled among the residents, offering presents, flowers, hugs and thank you’s to those who served in the military.

In the corner of the room, Alice Barratt’s eyes teared up with joy and pride as her hands rested on the handles of her aunt Alice Ebeling’s wheelchair.

Ebeling received a corsage recognizing her for her service in the USO during World War II. She also received a card congratulating her on her 87th birthday, which falls on Nov. 18.

“I’m honored to have her as an aunt,” Barratt said. “What (veterans) stand for and what they do for us … I can’t describe the awesome feeling it is just to say, ‘Thank you.’

“Today, seeing this, I’m truly proud of our men and women.”

The message was not lost on the youngest generation in the room, either. Tayla Kemry, 5, walked among the veterans with a bag full of corsages and a picture of her grandparents — Betty and Lewis Kemry — pinned to her shirt. Aside from Lewis, Tayla has several members of her family who served in the military. Her cousin Katelyn Hoffman, 10, said her family’s history of service was something to be proud of.

“I’m glad I have family members that are veterans,” Katelyn said. “They help our country.”

“They’re guarding us,” Tayla said.

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com

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