There are no little jobs in the armed forces
That was the message from William Graser of the Nevins Active Adult Community, who led his neighbors in an evening of remembrance and gratitude Monday night. About 70 or so residents, the majority of them veterans, attended a neighborhood Veterans Day ceremony inside the community clubhouse.
Graser, a retired sergeant first class in the U.S. Army and a veteran of the Vietnam War, said when it comes to honoring those who served, there's no such thing as "a job too little."
Chaplain James Cavatis of the U. S. Marine Corps League, a Vietnam veteran, paused to salute the flag before a moving reading of "Unknown: A Chaplain's Prayer."
Audience members wiped away tears as Graser read the names of the seven Nevins residents who'd passed away this past year, the most recent one being Stanley Focht. An airman first class who served in the U.S. Air Force military police K-9 unit, died Oct. 21 at the age of 70.
Serving as the evening's keynote speaker was retired Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Rice of the N.H. Army National Guard.
"To all of the veterans in the audience, I have a simple but heartfelt message: Thank you," he said.
"You have defended America in the best of times and the worst of times, often with little fanfare," Rice said. "Today is a time to honor all who fought for our freedom, those who understand the meaning of hardship and the catastrophe of war. Yet you've all endured."