Richard D. L. Fulton
(11/16) "In war, there are no unwounded soldiers." -Jose Narosky
More than 200 individuals attended the Harney VFW’S Veterans Day commemoration on September 10 to honor the masses of men and women who over time have served in America’s armed forces, past and present.
Spared by the recent cold snap, the Veterans Day tribute was held under a clear sky with mild temperatures at the headquarters of the Monocacy Valley Memorial Post 6918-07 in Harney.
Several dozen members of the Maryland Chapter of the Patriot Guard, Eagle Riders, and the Legion Rides also attended to help commemorate the occasion.
The event was kicked-off with opening comments delivered by member Frank Rauschenberg preceding the posting of the colors by the Harney VFW honor guard.
Monsignor Martin E. Field, pastor at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Taneytown, offered the opening invocation, as well as the benediction.
Patriotic songs, including the National Anthem and God Bless America, were performed by Iris Rodgers and Tom Nichols.
VFW post Commander Jim Pruitt, Marie Wolfe, president of the VFW’s Ladies’ Auxiliary, and Douglas Gross, president of the VFW’s Men’s Auxiliary, addressed the attendees.
Pruitt pointed out that what is call Veterans Day today began as Armistice Day, a day originally celebrated to mark the end of hostilities between the Allied forces and Germany on the Western Front in World War I in 1918, and to commemorate the fallen soldiers that had perished in the campaigns leading up to the armistice.
Armistice Day became Veterans Day after World War II to commemorate all American veterans, living and dead.
One of the highlights of the commemoration was the appearance of Mickey Myers, former Marine who served in the 2nd Battalion of the 4th Marines in Iraq, and his service dog Chase.
Myers was deployed twice during the Iraq War, and was injured three times during the course of his service there. He left the service in 2011, necessitating therapy to overcome his injuries, both physical and physiological.
Myers suffers from injuries to his back and knees, and has difficulty sleeping sometimes at night.
He credited his service dog, Chase, with helping him to recover, with the dog trained to perform tasks Myers may not be able to accomplish alone, or at all. Myers said the dog also helps him with physiological issues with his presence and support.
The service dogs are made available to veterans through the VetDogs Association (vetdogs.org), an offshoot of a guide dogs association.
"He reminds me of the little things I forget," Myers said about Chase, in addition to picking up things the recovering veteran Marine may drop.
Myers said some 200 to 300 service dogs have thus far been deployed to work with recovering soldiers.
The VFW’s observance of Veterans Day concluded with the laying of wreaths at the memorial, and the playing of Taps.
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