Veterans throughout the Mid-Columbia region will receive special recognition next week, with the largest observance on Tuesday, Nov. 11, in The Dalles.
Students and staff at The Dalles Middle School will honor veterans at a special assembly that begins at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 10. Veterans are invited to show up between 9:30 and 9:55 a.m. and will be specially seated and recognized.
Retired Reserve Army Chaplain Del Griebel will speak to students at The Dalles High School during an assembly Monday, Nov. 10, at 3 p.m.
Also speaking will beMayor Steve Lawrence, a decorated Vietnam veteran and author.
The Dufur school got an even bigger jump on the annual observance with an assembly to honor the veterans this morning, Nov. 7.
The annual Veterans Day parade in The Dalles will begin at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, at the intersection of Sixth and Webber streets.
Dr. Milt Skov and his wife, Shirley, will be grand marshals for the parade that is organized each year by the Mid-Columbia Veterans Memorial Committee.
Skov, a retired veterinarian, was a sailor with the U.S. Merchant Marines in World War II, a service that is being given special recognition in 2014.
He was assigned to the SS Coeur d’ Alene, one of 531 Victory Ships that were mass-produced to haul cargo by North American shipyards. Since the Revolutionary War, the Merchant Marines have been an auxiliary of the Navy and carried supplies to battlefields where U.S. forces are fighting.
The parade winds down Sixth, along Third Street and turns onto Second Street at the east end of town for a return to Webber.
Following the parade, VFW Post 2471 and Auxiliary will host a potluck lunch at the Oregon Veteran’s Home, 700 Veterans Drive.
Community members are invited to bring a dish to share. Utensils, beverages and a main dish will be provided.
Starting at 6 a.m. on Nov. 11, Cousins’ Restaurant and Saloon in The Dalles offers all active-duty and retired military personnel a meal on the house.
“It will go all day until 9 p.m.,” Dean Ferrell, the general manager, said. “Anyone who says I’m in or have been, we are going to serve them.”
It is the second year the business has offered the meal on Veterans Day.
“It was a great program last year. We served hundreds. It was a Monday and it was awesome,” Ferrell said about the turnout in 2013. Cousins will be offering one free entrée, with choices including a French toast combo and Lite Eggs & Things for breakfast.
Lunch includes options: A roast turkey sandwich, hamburger, meat loaf, pot roast, Caesar salad or a bowl of the restaurant’s famous chili.
On another front, the Mid-Columbia Senior Center is hosting a free lunch at noon Nov. 11 for veterans and people over age 60 at its 1112 W. Ninth Street location.
According to Denise Patton, director of Meals on Wheels, the lunch will honor area veterans, along with volunteers and others who have helped raise funds for new tables at the center.
“We expect more than 100 coming to the Veteran’s Day lunch,” Patton added, noting that parking on the street is permissible if the parking lot is full.
The lunch will feature turkey and dressing with gravy, a green bean casserole, buttered rolls and carrot salad. Pumpkin pie with topping is the dessert.
In addition, a queen-sized quilt will be raffled off, with two tickets for $4 and three tickets for $5, according to Patton.
Proceeds will support Meals on Wheels, which is very lightly funded in the Mid-Columbia region, according to Patton.
The quilt is one of several made by a group of women who have been meeting on Monday nights for 37 years.
“We provide quilts for the Meals on Wheels,” said Francie Yuhas, a retired doctor. In addition, the group has provided pillowcases and mini-quilts for programs like Head Start, foster children and for military units about to deploy.
The women also take quilts and restore them to raise money to generate more donations of cloth.
“There are about seven or eight women doing the quilting (it goes up and down),” Yuhas said.
The oldest woman in the quilting group is 98 years old, she added. The group started the quilting project about a month ago.