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Ceremony honors veterans at Rockingham County home

Sunday News Correspondent

November 12. 2017 12:46AM
Nicholas Greenwood, 8, of Raymond presents a flag Saturday to Navy veteran Robert Jean, 86, a former Plaistow resident who now lives in the Rockingham County nursing home. (Jason Schreiber/Sunday News Correspondent)

BRENTWOOD - Veterans at the Rockingham County nursing home gathered to sing patriotic songs and receive flags in recognition of their military service at a Veterans Day ceremony Saturday morning.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4479 of Raymond organized the ceremony to thank the resident veterans for their service and to let them know that those outside the nursing home haven't forgotten them.

"We do this once a year, but it's not enough," said Vietnam veteran Joe Saxon, a 75-year-old Candia resident and adjutant of the Raymond VFW who served in the Army. He helped plan the ceremony and led the residents in a patriotic sing-along in the nursing home's atrium.

Some 27 veterans living at the nursing home were honored - each being called out by name and presented with a flag.

"It means a lot," said World War II Army nurse Ruth Ladd, a 96-year-old nursing home resident from Greenland.

Ladd shared many stories from her days as an Army nurse, including the landing at Omaha Beach and the men watching the nurses in their skirts.

"We were all in skirts and we got from the boat we were on and slid down this piece of leather. Three guys before me in line, one went down OK. The second one went down and went into the water. Then they found out that the first guy had a knife in his bag and he slit the slide all the way down. Then of course all of the guys in the landing craft were gazing at all these women coming down in their skirts. That was our landing at Omaha Beach," she said.

When asked if she reflects on her military days, Ladd replied, "All the time."

Nicholas Greenwood, 8, of Raymond, helped hand out flags to veterans as their names were called.

He often marches in Raymond's Memorial Day parade and said it felt good to participate in the Veterans Day ceremony along with his grandmother, Shannon Wallace, a member of the Raymond VFW's Ladies Auxiliary and the American Legion Post 90 in Raymond.

Wallace is also a bartender at the VFW.

"I work with veterans every day. It's very important to be here," she said.

Retired Army veteran Andrew Bobo, 42, of Seabrook, is a veterans' liaison for a hospice agency and works with some of the veterans at the nursing home.

"I loved the Army a lot, but this is probably the most fulfilling thing I've ever done. It's God's work. I love coming here," he said.

Veteran Al Lavigne was one of 27 veterans honored at a ceremony Saturday at the Rockingham County nursing home. (Jason Schreiber)

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