"A gift to the community"

Veteran's honored by officials, residents

 

November 16, 2023

Residents assembled to honor vets at a dinner last Saturday. Left: Susan Brown and Libby Whitney, creators of the Veterans quilt, present it to Brent Freeman. Above: Great food and great friends made for a great evening. Below: A Mexican feast was provided by Maria's. Photos courtesy of Susan Gentry.

Submitted by Susan Gentry

"We're here to honor and thank all those who served and their families," said Pastor Jeff Driscoll as he welcomed the more than 70 members of the community. Each year, Our Saviour's Lutheran Church hosts a free dinner to local residents who are connected to veterans. State Representative Joel McIntire again attended, in full Marine dress, to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

Mayor David Olson greeted the audience with his thanks for all they do to make our community special. Gary Howell, Wahkiakum County Undersheriff, acknowledged the members of his staff that were veterans and the quality they bring to his office.

After dinner, which was catered by Maria's, guest speaker Brent Freeman spoke. The Wahkiakum School District Superintendent talked of his 23 years of Naval service and the importance of the families while deployed. He also pointed out how "service to country" becomes "service to others" when a person leaves the military. Being home to so many veterans is what makes our community exceptional.

Brent segued into honoring a special friend of his, Gordon Oman. Gordie passed way several years ago but Brent spoke of how so many projects at the school bear Gordie's signature. He never stopped giving.

Gordie's widow, Vera, was then presented with her husband's casket flag, properly folded and placed in a presentation box.

And the winner of the drawing for a military- themed lap blanket turned out to be none other than Superintendent Freeman himself.

 

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