10/25/17 — County 4-H to honor veterans

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County 4-H to honor veterans

By Rochelle Moore
Published in News on October 25, 2017 5:50 AM

To thank local veterans and active duty military, members of the Wayne County 4-H have been hosting a Veterans Day Banquet every other year for the past 10 years.

This year's event will take place Nov. 8 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wayne Center.

Local 4-H club members and their family invite one or two veterans or active duty military to the luncheon.

"We usually have more veterans than active duty attending because it's in the middle of the day," said Emma Walker, 4-H youth president. "I usually invite one of my grandpas; both served in the military."

Lunch is free to the veterans and active duty military attending.

"Each 4-H family brings soup, bread, dessert and drinks," said Dina Newcomb with the 4-H For Life club.

A color guard from the Civil Air Patrol posts the colors.

A medley of all of the military service songs is played, during which those attending stand during their song.

This year Walker will play the medley on the piano.

There's even entertainment.

Some 4-H'ers will play the piano and one will do a presentation about Arlington National Cemetery.

"One year, one 4-H'er, whose father was in the military, did a special poem," Ms. Walker said.

"We are very respectful of the veterans and active duty military. We are trying to honor them and show them that we care.

"That's especially important today since we live in a military town and since we live in such an electronic age. People post stuff online, but don't usually go out of their way to put on an event for the veterans and active duty military."

Those attending the banquet dress in red, white and blue to carry the patriotic theme even further.

And before the banquet, 4-H'ers make cards to give to the veterans and active duty military at the event.

Not only does the banquet honor those who served and those who still serve, but it also promotes citizenship in the 4-H clubs.

"It's also community service and a way to give back to people who have given to us in the past by fighting for our country, a way to serve those who have served us," Newcomb said.

"I think it's a good opportunity to show gratitude to the veterans, especially the older ones, to show that their service is not forgotten," Ms. Walker said. "It's a really cool event. It's a lot of work to put on, but it's really fun. And it's nice to hear how much the veterans and active duty military enjoy it."