Poppies and Performances for Veterans of Foreign Wars 9415

PHOTO: T.A. Graydon - NewsPlus

Veterans Mike Mestas and John Tuggle hand out a commemorative “Buddy Poppy” for Veterans Day at Stater Brothers Phelan.

Poppies and performances were held for the heroes at V.F.W. Post 9415 this Veterans day weekend. With the Serrano High School Choir performing at the post on Friday, 11/11/2022, and the red paper “Buddy Poppy” distribution at the Stater Brothers all weekend, this Veterans Day will long be remembered. With an over-flowing buffet backed up by raffle prizes, members were ready to greet their regular and visiting Veterans of Foreign Wars to Post 9415 on this special day of remembrance.

Veterans’ wives Peggy Holleman, and Dorothy Gunther lead the Veterans Day buffet line.

Post Commander Mike Bazylak was the welcome wagon, greeting veterans and their families into the nicely dressed out V.F.W. dining room. The tables decorated with American flag placemats set the mood for a very patriotic afternoon. Most veterans wore some type of identifying military apparel, hat, shirt, or jacket with awards and badges. The black leather vest was a popular platform for displaying these badges and medals of honor. Navy Aviation Chief Boatswains Mate Wayne Holleman, who served from 1959 to 1979, stated, “I need two vests.” The combination of these made for a colorful room full of patriotism and valor.

Boy Scout Troop 351 from Wrightwood was on duty as color guard and for retiring the flag. Flags to be retired were dropped off by the community to post 9415 and were incinerated after “The Pledge of Allegiance” and a brief ceremony. The Serrano High School Choir performed outside during the American flag ceremonies, blending music with the beautiful high desert weather to honor those who gave their lives for freedom. The presentation of the flag was flawless, and the group retired to the Hall for the remainder of Veteran’s Day activities, being held indoors.

The Serrano High School Choir, under direction of Choir Director Jonny Dolan, performed flawlessly.

Once again, the Serrano High School Choir, led by Choir Director Jonny Dolan, performed impeccably with a rousing rendition of “American Heroes,” the “Military Medley,” and “To Those Who Serve All,” with an arrangement of “Lean on Me” by singer/songwriter Bill Withers, who served in the U.S. Navy for nine years. Chaplain Robert (Bobb) Carreon gave a wonderful invocation, thanking all veterans for their ultimate sacrifice. “It is a personal privilege and an honor to serve all of you.” Post Chaplain Bobb said, starting off the day’s remaining festivities. The Veterans Day raffle was an eagerly awaited event with a bevy of fantastic goodie-filled baskets. One particular prize, a combination shot-gun-plunger, was on everybody’s A-list. The generous buffet included pizza donated by Pizza Factory Phelan, a veteran-owned business that recently co-sponsored “The 28th Annual High Desert Veterans Dinner” this past Wednesday.

Veteran Mike Mestas receives a hand-made thank you card from a grateful V.F.W. family.

The children present were going around the room saying “Thank You” to the Veterans, to everyone’s delight. One proud family gave Veteran Mike Mestas a hand-made thank you card. “The best thing is when the kids give you their little change and say thank you,” Mike said with a proud smile. Mike and fellow veterans will be distributing memorial red paper poppies for donation to M.I.A. and P.O.W. organizations at Phelan Stater Brothers this Holiday weekend. The poppy has been recognized as the memorial flower in countries throughout the world. The Veterans of Foreign Wars has distributed its “Buddy Poppy” red-paper poppies since 1992 to raise funds for its charities.

A heartfelt “Thank You For Your Service” to our veterans, who bravely fought for freedom so we could have these special days. Also, thank you to Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9415 for keeping our veterans well fed, well entertained, and always welcome at their Friday Night Steak Dinner. A salute to Post 9415 V.F.W. Post Commander Mike Bazylak and staff for a job well done.

Boy Scout Troop 351 performs flag retiring ceremony at V.F.W Post 9415 with full reverence.

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