Veterans Day program: Music, treats and questions shared

Jeff Bergh of the American Legion Post 82 recites the Pledge of Allegiance during Tonasket Elementary School's Veterans Day Assembly Wednesday, Nov. 7. Pictured with Bergh are fellow American Legion members Gene Wehmeyer (left) and William Gomez (right).

TONASKET – Elementary school students entertained veterans, active troops, staff and community members at Wednesday's Veterans Day Assembly with several musical numbers, directed by Gail Morris.

The event was opened with Tonasket's American Legion Post 82 members Jeff Bergh, Gene Wehmeyer and William Gomez presenting the flag and leading the pledge of Allegiance.

PTO members Katie Turner and Tracy McNall showed off a harvest of Troop Care Packages collected by elementary students, including snacks and treats along with magazines and letters written by the kids. Turner said the packages were to show troops how much they are appreciated, and thanked Grants Market, the Oroville American Legion and community members for the generous donations.

Emcee Katie Abrahamson asked audience members who were veterans or currently serving to introduce themselves, with several Vietnam War veterans in attendance along with active members of the service.

Guest speaker Master Sergeant Keith A. Caraway, visiting from Joint Base Lewis-McCord near Tacoma, spoke of his nearly 20 years in the service, taking time to answer lots of questions from curious kids.

Asked by one Tonasket Tiger Cub if he ever fought in the Army, Caraway answered “Yes.”

“One of the best feelings as a first sergeant was, everyone I took with me made it home,” said Caraway.

Looking at the bounty of Troop Care Packages in front of the stage, Caraway thanked the students, telling them he was aware some of them had “taken chips out of their lunches and put it in the soldiers' care packages.”

“That means a lot,” Caraway said, adding later, “Psychologically, when someone calls your name for a package, the endorphins get going.”

Caraway said traveling to Tonasket for the assembly was definitely worth the trip.

“I really enjoyed this place. Seeing the students, it was a real treat. It was worth every one of the 306 miles to see those faces. And the parents looked like they were having a good time,” said Caraway. “I've been in the service almost 20 years, and this was one definitely one of the top five moments.”

Caraway said traveling to Tonasket for the assembly was definitely worth the trip.

“I really enjoyed this place. Seeing the students, it was a real treat. It was worth every one of the 306 miles to see those faces. And the parents looked like they were having a good time,” said Caraway. “I've been in the service almost 20 years, and this was one definitely one of the top five moments.”

For more on Caraway's visit with the students, click here.

Bridgeport

A kindergarten through 12th grade assembly is planned at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, in the Bridgeport High School gym, 1220 Kryger Ave.

The American Legion will present the colors and the high school band will perform the national anthem. Middle and high school choir students will sings songs from the World War I era. ASB officers will have a slideshow presentation to honor veterans.

The Multicultural Club will host a “Jeans for Troops” event on Nov. 7, too. The Jeans for Troops is a dress down day (wearing jeans) and a donation program that accepts donations of $5 or more to help veterans with employment, healthcare, and housing.

Lake Roosevelt

Music, veteran recognition and Native American honor songs will highlight Veterans Day observances Friday, Nov. 9, in the Grand Coulee Dam School District.

Nov. 11 marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. An event commemorating the day will be at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 11 in the Capitol Building rotunda in Olympia. It starts with tolling the Bells of Peace at 11 a.m.

Most area Veterans Day observances will be in the days leading up to Nov. 11. The holiday is recognized Nov. 12 this year.

The Grand Coulee schools’ Veterans Day assembly will be at 9 a.m. Friday in the school gym, 500 Civic Way, Coulee Dam.

The ceremony opens with an honor guard flag ceremony, welcome and Pledge of Allegiance, led by associated student body President Mason Hobrecht. The high school choir and junior-senior high school band will perform the national anthem.

Honor songs will be performed by Ava and Ashlyn Sam and the drum group Wakpala, led by Jim Roberts.

Music includes “Yankee Doodle,” by kindergarten students; “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” by second-graders; “Thank You, Soldiers,” by third-graders; “America, the Beautiful,” by the junior-senior high school band; “On Veterans Day,” by the fifth/sixth grade chorus, and “In Flanders Fields,” by the high school chorus.

Service songs and introductions are planned for the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and Marine Corps. Veterans will be recognized.

The high school chorus will perform “God Bless the USA,” and an open microphone is planned for veterans. Shawn Nieder will perform “Taps.”

American Legion Post 157 will provide the honor guard.

A reception will follow the assembly.

Nespelem

A veterans powwow will be Nov. 9-10 at Nespelem School, 229 School House Loop Road. Grand entries are at 7 p.m. Friday, and 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday.

Friday activities include rejoining, naming and giveaways, and a program featuring outgoing Miss Poppy and Little Miss Poppy.

Saturday brings the Miss Poppy and Little Miss Poppy contests, a 5 p.m. dinner break, 8 p.m. veteran recognition, and announcement of raffle and contest winners.

The event is organized by the Nespelem Women’s Auxiliary for Veterans and Colville Confederated Tribes.

Okanogan

• A Veterans Day dinner is planned at noon Nov. 11 at the Okanogan Eagles Club, 1820 N. Second Ave.

A program is planned, followed by a chili feed and viewing the Seahawks game at 1:25 p.m. The event is free to veterans.

Omak

• East Omak Elementary School — A Veterans Day assembly will be at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 9, in the school gymnasium, 715 Omak Ave.

Veterans are invited and will be honored. The school choir will sing and students will speak.

Families of veterans also are invited.

• North Omak Elementary School — An assembly will be at 10:20 a.m. in the school gym, 615 Oak St.

Second-graders will perform. The Okanogan American Legion post will participate.

• Omak High School — A Veterans Day assembly will be at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at the school.

• Omak Middle School — An assembly will be at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 9, in the Omak Performing Arts Center, 14 S. Cedar St.

The Okanogan American Legion post will participate.

• Paschal Sherman Indian School — The Colville tribal honor guard is scheduled to arrive about noon to have lunch and visit with students.

An assembly will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at the school, 169 North End Omak Lake Road. The school’s drum group will perform for posting of the colors.

Oroville

• Oroville School District celebrates Veterans Day this year with an assembly at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 9, in the high school gym. Elementary school students will attend, and the community is invited.

The assembly is expected to last about 45 minutes. The high school is located at 1016 Ironwood St. in Oroville.

• Oroville American Legion will be celebrating Veterans Day with a membership drive and free barbecue for veterans and their families, with activities for kids. The barbecue begins at 11 a.m. and will run until about 2 p.m.

Members and any veteran or family members of a veteran are invited. The American Legion is at 314 14th Ave.

Pateros

A Veterans Day assembly will be at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 9 at Pateros School District, 344 W. Beach St.

Guest speakers are planned. There will be a fifth grade presentation and ASB candle lighting and moment of silence.

The high school band will perform patriotic songs.

Republic

Republic School District celebrates Veterans Day Friday, Nov. 9 with a breakfast for veterans and their spouses from 8- 9 a.m. in the elementary school, 30306 E. Highway 20.

A folding of the flag is planned, followed by an assembly in the gym at 9 a.m.

Tonasket

• Tonasket celebrates Veterans Day Sunday, Nov. 11, with a parade followed by a dinner at the American Legion. The parade begins at 10 a.m. in front of North Valley Hospital Extended Care, 22 W. First St., and ends at the U.S. Armed Forces Legacy Project, 2A Tonasket Shop Road.

A brief ceremony will take place there, then veterans and the community are invited to attend a potluck dinner with ham and turkey at the American Legion Post at 319 S. Western Ave. The dinner is free to veterans and by donation for non-veterans.

Members of the American Legion, Sons of American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, Scouts and Samaritan Riders are invited to march in the parade.

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