Remembering our Veterans

By Nick Blank
Posted 11/14/18

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Residents and community leaders gathered Saturday morning to remember and recognize the servicemen and women who sacrificed for their country.

Flags for all branches of the …

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Remembering our Veterans

Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Residents and community leaders gathered Saturday morning to remember and recognize the servicemen and women who sacrificed for their country.

Flags for all branches of the military were mounted on small, white crosses and a flyover during the national anthem greeted the crowd of 100 that braved a gray, cold morning for Veterans Day at Historic Spring Park.

David Treffinger, John Flowers and William “Mac” McLucas are veterans of the Vietnam War.

McLucas, the local V.F.W. district commander, served 20 years in the U.S. Navy. He said recognizing veterans now was a far cry from the reception they received more than 40 years ago.

“We as Vietnam veterans, all three of us, didn’t get welcomed home,” McLucas said. “It means a lot to be recognized. It’s a much different climate now than when we came back.”

Treffinger, president of the local Vietnam Vets of America chapter, served in the U.S. Army for two years.

“For everybody who served they should not be honored not just today, but every day,” Treffinger said.

Flowers spent three years in the Army. He said it was important to honor those who never came home.

“We’re paying it forward,” Flowers said. “We’re honoring this day for other veterans both past and present and future.”

Green Cove Springs Mayor Connie Butler addressed the crowd and thanked veterans for serving and enduring struggles that allow citizens to live peacefully.

“On this day, we celebrate each of you, men and women, who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to defending and protecting the United States of America and its territories in order to give us the freedoms we so richly enjoy today,” Butler said.

Like Butler, City Manager Steve Kennedy said his family was well-represented in the military. His father and uncle were in the Army, his brother was in the Air Force, his stepson is with the Marines and he had an uncle who served in the Navy.

“Veterans Day is about realizing why we’re able to be free,” Kennedy said. “Their selfless, serving attitude and dedication.”

During the ceremony, veterans from every branch were given a time to speak on their service.

Kimberley Glover served in the Navy from 1984-2004. She’s now leads the county’s Veterans Services division.

“I served, and I’ll continue serving,” Glover said. “It’s all about giving back.”

Randy Guhl was in the Air Force for 12 years with time in Vietnam as a mechanic crew chief. Coming out of technical school he was asked if he wanted to go to the war later or now. Both of his parents were in the Army, so the answer was clear.

“I told them, ‘Now,’” Guhl said.

Julie Sarver spent six years in the Army before she was medically discharged. She’s a mentor with the Veterans Court. She advised residents to wear red on Fridays to remember those who are deployed and said remembering veterans doesn’t end.

“Veterans Day means honor, service and sacrifice. It means to hold true to service members past and present,” Sarver said. “A lot of times for the present veterans, if there’s no war going on, they’re forgotten. When things quiet down, you tend to forget easily.”

Originally celebrated as Armistice Day, the day to mark the end of World War I, which ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1919, the first anniversary of the Great War. In 1926, Congress passed a resolution for an annual observance. In 1938, Nov. 11 became a national holiday.

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