REP. GENE WHISNANT'S VETERANS' DAY NEWSLETTER 11-12-13
I hope you had a wonderful "Veterans' Day" and an opportunity to participate in an event honoring our military veterans.
The Deschutes County community provides many venues to thank our military veterans for their service to our nation and I had the privilege to participate in several.
Last Wednesday, I joined other veterans in a hosted lunch with the "Fast Camp" (Fun After School Time) children from Three Rivers School in Sunriver. The Sunriver Owners Association sponsors the kindergarten to 6 graders after-school program. The campers served the veterans a lunch and then the veterans discussed their military service and experiences with the FAST Camp students.
On Thursday, I participated in the outstanding and very patriotic Redmond Proficiency Academy (RPA) "Living History Day" program honoring local veterans. Local military submarine veteran, Johnny Corbin and RPA Social Science teacher, Matt Killpack with the RPA students and staff, organized an all-day program to thank military veterans. The day started with an assembly of the over 700 students and friends with comments made by RPA Director Dr. Jon Bullock, presentation of colors by the local "SeaCadets," and the national anthem sang beautifully by RPA student, Katie Bullock. I was chosen to make remarks which mainly consisted of thanking the RPA students and staff for recognizing the veterans and their service and highlighting the importance of actions like the "living history day" program. Next, groups of students met with 2 or 3 veterans for discussions and a "question and answer" period. I responded to many thoughtful questions about my military experiences and career. After a lunch hosted by local Redmond groups; we had another assembly of the entire student body. I was honored and emotionally moved by the students' standing applause as the veterans re-entered the auditorium. The "Living History Day" ended with patriotic music and songs by the RPA band and RPA Show Choir.
On Monday, I participated in the Redmond Veterans Day parade which is held on the 11 month and on the 11th day at 11:00. Redmond Mayor George Endicott, a military veteran with a Purple Heart, and I walked together and enjoyed the crowds and "thank you for your service" comments. Afterwards, I attended the Redmond VFW hosted lunch for veterans.
Also on Veterans Day, I attended, at the Redmond Hospice Memorial Wall and Garden, a dedication ceremony. Redmond Mayor George Endicott and Mr. Robert Maxwell, Oregon Medal of Honor recipient, spoke at the ceremony.
Thanking military veterans anytime you have the opportunity is appreciated and helps keep American patriotism alive for all and especially our youth. I was proud of how my community recognized and honored military veterans.
Colonel, USAF, Retired