By LAAH TUCKER
Special to the Post
NATOMA — American Legion Auxiliary Unit 109 and Natoma-Paradise-Waldo USD 399 co-hosted the 13th annual Veterans Day Salute on Nov. 10 in Natoma.
The tribute honored veterans for their military service. Veterans represented the Korean War (Orville Pfortmiller, age 90), Vietnam War, Gulf War, to Afghanistan and Enduring Freedom.
They were from Osborne, Rooks, County and Ellis counties. The event featured special guests and students in pre-K through 12th grades presenting music selections from the Revolutionary War to modern composers.
“Every Hero Has a Story” exhibit featured personal stories, photographs, and memorabilia from military service of men and women including the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam War and Afghanistan to present active military.
Fourteen veterans joined Natoma Junior High and High School students during a panel discussion with introductions by American Legion Post 109 Commander William Workman.
The Veterans Day Salute featured a color guard posting flags by Vietnam War veterans William Workman and David Kertz with Afghanistan veteran Seth Johnson.
A patriotic medley was played by Shawna Dunlap followed by a Veterans Day prayer by American Legion Auxiliary Chaplain, Shawna Dunlap.
Kristi Mettlen, lead teacher, welcomed veterans and guests to the 13th-annual event, with a Natoma City welcome by Chris Broeckleman, councilman. Presenters included Kristi Mettlen with Superintendent Matt Pounds.
Patriotic music included solos, choirs, instrumental, all school choir and band, and choreography under the direction of Talley Hickman, music teacher.
Special guests included Troy Waymaster, Kansas House Representative District 109, who gave tribute to veterans and honor to America’s freedom.
Auxiliary officer Linda Crawford introduced Shari Paget, language arts teacher. Winning essays from her students were presented by Caylie Lyle, Patriot’s Pen, and Raylyn Paget, Voice of Democracy.
The essay contests are sponsored by the Russell VFW Post 6240. In closing Superintendent Matt Pounds addressed the veterans. Creative greeting cards were presented by elementary students to each veteran.
The American Legion Auxiliary gave each veteran an American flag and poppy donated by the Russell VFW. Veterans joined elementary students in classrooms for lunch.
A Nex-Tech production of the Veterans Day Salute is airing on Nex-Tech Cable and on YouTube: https://youtu.be/A5y6Fu1tcy4.
For God and country, the Natoma American Legion Auxiliary Unit 109 and American Legion Post 109 continue to serve veterans, their families, children, youth, and community with programs throughout the year. During Christmas, the organizations support the Ft. Dodge Soldiers Home for more than 100 residents.