Veterans and active military members were honored throughout Friday in Portales for Veterans Day.
American Legion Post 31 held its 15th annual Veterans Day ceremony with the widows of Bataan Death March survivors as honored guests. Col. David Piech of Cannon Air Force Base was the guest speaker.
Piech talked about the history of Veterans Day and the sacrifices of veterans and their families.
“I’m honored,” Piech said of being the guest speaker. “I hope that the youth of the future carry on these veteran traditions.”
Piech said his father was a World War II veteran and instilled in him much of the ambition and pride he has for his military career.
“I think it went really well,” said Judy Hall, one of the event’s coordinators. “You always wish for more people but you’re always glad to see the ones that are here.”
Piech also attended the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9515 luncheon later that day, which honored active personnel members of CAFB.
Guest speaker for the event was Chief Master Sgt. Matt Caruso, who told his audience that much of Cannon’s success is due to the community support it receives.
“Your energy and commitment in ensuring our airmen and their families are taken care of is inspiring and I want to thank you,” Caruso said. “By working closely with civic leaders and community members, we are delivering exactly what our nation needs from us.”
The VFW luncheon was free to veterans and military service members.
“For me, the VFW have been really supportive of our organization,” said Staff Sgt. Frank Giffin. “They’re really special people.”
Giffin’s fellow service member, Airman 1st Class Joshua Van Noy, agreed, saying the local communities as a whole have been very supportive of the special operations base.
“People are really warm and welcoming,” Van Noy said. “It’s like a home away from home.”
“That’s what the VFW does,” said VFW member Scott Underbrink. “Is help and support veterans.”
The veterans organizations were not the only ones supporting their veterans on Friday. Portales High School choir members performed at the American Legion ceremony while Lindsey-Steiner Elementary held “Bring a Veteran to School Day.”
“I was scared at first but it went amazing,” Steiner history teacher Cindy Stone said. “The kids were able to interact with veterans and active duty members and were excited to meet them and had tons of questions. I think it was a huge success.”