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Several events planned to honor veterans

Karl Horeis
Rick Fowler/ The Nevada Appeal Daniel Sanchez of the Parks Department seals a new plaque at the Vetrans Memorial in Mills Park on November 6, 2003.
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Three men who did not come home alive from the Vietnam War will be honored Tuesday during a ceremony dedicating newly planted trees.

Melvin A. Holland, declared missing in action on March 11, 1968; Wolfgang Dieter Dietz, killed in action on Sept. 4, 1968; and John S. Szymanski, killed in action March 23, 1967, will be honored with trees planted at the Nevada Vietnam War Memorial in Mills Park.

All three have ties to Nevada but enlisted in another state and couldn’t be included on the state memorial with the 151 Nevadans already recognized.

The ceremony is one of several events planned in the area to honor servicemen and servicewomen. All veterans, from WW I doughboys to peace-keepers in Bosnia, deserve the respect of Americans who value their freedom, said Chuck Fulkerson, executive director of the State of Nevada Office of Veterans’ Services.

“They paid the price exacted upon this nation in its historic role as world leader and champion of democracy,” he said. “And they have done this at the risk of their own safety, sanity and future without asking you for one thing in return.”

The memorial grove at Mills Park was approved in unanimous votes by the Carson City Supervisors Thursday. Two other groves at the park were also identified for use by veterans.

“This will just give people in Nevada an opportunity to recognize those who can’t be on the wall,” said Jim Weller, president of Chapter 388 of the Vietnam Veterans of America. “At the same time, it helps the city take care of the park.”

Virginia City will again honor veterans during its annual Veterans Day Parade at 11 a.m. Tuesday. Late signups are still being taken and can be made by sending a brief description of a group or float to Lorraine Du Fresne, P.O. Box 3, Virginia City, Nev., 89440. Call 847-0509. Those interested in marching or riding in the parade should meet at the Fourth Ward School at 10 a.m.

In another event organized to honor U.S. soldiers, the Douglas County Senior Center will host their fourth annual USO Veterans Day Celebration today from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8583 will make presentations and the Douglas High School Jazz Band will perform. All veterans and their family or widows are welcome. Uniforms are encouraged. Lunch will follow the ceremony.

On Monday at 11 a.m. 1,000 students will gather on Senator Square to honor those who served. Veterans of every conflict from World War II to the current War on Terrorism will be asked to stand and be recognized.

“When these people stand there’s just a huge round of applause,” said Skip Cannady, senior naval science instructor at the school. “Last year when one veteran stood up it was deafening – just awesome.”

The ceremony will feature a flag ceremony by the ROTC color guard, patriotic songs sung by Stewart Peebles’ school choir, a speech by Sheriff Ken Furlong and refreshments prepared by Penny Reynolds’ culinary arts students. All veterans are welcome and encouraged to wear their memorabilia. Call Cannady at 283-1780.

Monday also happens to be the 228th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Following the Monday ceremony. a Salute to Our Veterans luncheon will be offered at the Pinon Plaza Hotel at noon. Sponsored by the Edward Jones office of Carol Perry and Jessica Fischer and Protective Life Insurance, the lunch is offered free to all veterans and the public. Call 882-0371.

The tree-dedication ceremony at Mills Park starts at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Veterans Day. The three men honored did not join the military from Nevada so their names are not listed on the main stones of the memorial.

“But they do have close family ties or friends here in Nevada,” said Jim Weller, former president of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 388. Their names will be listed on a separate rock – cut by incarcerated Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 545 at Nevada State Prison – within the memorial. “We’ve already got two names ready for next year,” said Weller.

The group’s new president, Terry Hubert, will attend the Tuesday ceremony as will the honored men’s families and Darrol L. Brown, director of VVA region 9, which includes several Western states. Call 849-9544.

United Blood Services is asking for donations as part of their Veterans Awareness Campaign.

All UBS offices currently offer cards to sign which the National Guard will distribute to service men and women around the world.

For information on donating blood in the Carson City area, call the United Blood Services office at 256 East Winnie Lane, 887-9111.