Organizers want to give back and lift up vets from the region
VANCOUVER — The flyers have been distributed throughout the community.
One of the organizers has the flyers with him whenever he runs an errand, just in case he runs into a veteran.
Quite simply, the goal is to get the word out that Southwest Washington volunteers want to celebrate a special group of people this weekend.
Vietnam and Vietnam Era veterans from the region are invited to attend a ceremony in their honor at 1 p.m. Saturday at Vancouver Mall.
“My passion is … I really want to honor those that did not get the recognition that they deserved,” said Ron Powers, the advisor to the Clark College’s Student Veterans of America Club. “From my heart, I want to honor them.”
The club, along with the Community Military Appreciation Committee and Purekraze Events for Veterans is presenting the ceremony.
While there will be a few words to open the event, there is no official “guest speaker.” Instead, Powers said, any veteran who wants to speak will be given time. That could be as simple as just giving a name, or if the veteran has more to say, the veteran will have the stage, if you will.
While Powers never served in Vietnam, he served with many who did and he has been introduced to many more through the years. They tell him the stories of how they were treated, coming home from an unpopular war.
This event is an opportunity to give back to the veterans and try to make contact with other veterans who might not be aware of the many organizations that are there to help, Powers said.
Taps will be played on bagpipes early in the presentation, “for those who did not make it back,” Powers said, adding that families of the fallen are also invited to be part of Saturday’s event.
There will be a prayer, opening remarks from organizers, and a brief acknowledgement of any elected officials in attendance. From there, though, the veterans will be in the spotlight.
Veterans will be given personal recognition, a lapel pin, and a proclamation signed by the president.
The public also is invited to attend, to celebrate the veterans.
The ceremony will take place on the first floor of the mall, near the Starbucks and H&M.