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Event Salutes Veterans

By Staff | Nov 11, 2009

Attendees of the second annual Salute to Veterans check out a Blackhawk helicopter that landed on the campus of the New Martinsville United Methodist Church. (Photos by Bill Abraham)

The second annual Salute to Veterans sponsored by WorkForce West Virginia was highlighted by the landing of a U. S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter and three-member crew at the New Martinsville United Methodist Church Saturday.

The event drew a crowd of about 200 persons to honor service men and women and to remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the nation’s defense.

Keynote speaker was State Sen. Larry Edgell, who said the nation, especially young people, “have never lost respect and admiration for U. S. veterans.” Edgell, a former teacher, is a U. S. Navy veteran.

WorkForce Field Supervisor for Veterans Services Ken Deel, also a veteran, reminded the crowd that, “Those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice have not all died in a war zone,” referring to the shooting deaths of 13 persons and the wounding of 39 others at Ft. Hood, Texas.

The crowd stood for the Pledge of Allegiance and national anthem, sung by Shandra Goodfellow, who also presented a medley of other patriotic music. Rob Gootz provided vocal selections accompanied by his guitar while members of Cruisers Unlimited, who faithfully turn out to support America’s values, brought their vintage autos to display.

Sen. Larry Edgell speaks at Saturday’s Salute to Veterans.

Inside the church, a number of booths offered veterans assistance in seeking employment, adult basic education, rehabilitation, and other services.

The Blackhawk helicopter and crew are from Company C 1/150th Assault Unit stationed in Wheeling.

Coordinator for the event was Cyndi Dennis, veterans services representative for WorkForce region 5.