By Per Peterson
Melvin Klein, Shirley Anderson and Randy Hohler were the distinguished guests at the 2021 program, which was followed by the annual Turkey Feed at the Tracy American Legion Post 173 building.
Following the presentation of the colors, the National Anthem was played by the TAHS band, the pledge of allegiance and the invocation was given by Chaplin Darrel Janssen, and Tracy Mayor Pam Cooreman provided the welcome speech, thanking those who have served the United State over the years.
“These men and women were ordinary people until they heard the call of duty and answered it,” Cooreman said. “They left their family, their homes and their lives, not for recognition or fame or even the honor we bestow upon them today — they fought and continue to fight to protect our country and maintain our way of life. Now it is time to not only honor those that have fought and are fighting for our freedom, but also time for each of us to take part in protecting it.”
This year’s guest speaker was Corey Flint, a former member of the U.S. Navy.
“Veterans Day to me means a lot,” Flint said. “My family heritage includes the Army, Air Force — my grandfather was a World War II Pacific veteran, my father was a Vietnam veteran. As soon as I was born, I was bred to go into the military.”
Flint said after graduating from high school in 1993, he spent a year trying to decide what he wanted to do with his life. In 1994, he decided to enter the military and in July of that year, he went to boot camp in Chicago, IL. From there, he went to training in California, where he volunteered for extra training. He wound up going to a Marine Corps base, where he spent two months.
“Going to the Marine Corps is hard to describe — it was family,” he said.
Flint said his diabetes diagnosis led to his honorable discharge from the military in 2006. He said since then Veterans Day has held a special place in his heart.
“My dad and I spent every Veterans Day together,” he said. “This is seven years that I haven’t been able to celebrate Veterans Day with my father, but I know he’s still with me, and all the veterans that I have standing next to me.”
Opening remarks were given by Tracy American Legion Post 173 Commander and Vice Commander for Area D, Harley Wahl.
After a presentation by the TAHS choir, Tracy Area Public Schools Supt. Chad Anderson introduced each of the honored veterans by reading biographies put together by TAHS students Annaka Hook, Madison Timmerman, Grace Hanson, Camille Dolan, Caitlyn Devereaux and Delaynie Meyer.
See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.