VENTURA, Calif. - The mayor of Agoura Hills, William Koehler, and
the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce president and CEO,
Jill Lederer, joined the executive director at Meadowbrook Senior
Living, Isaac Chernotsky, military veterans, senior leaders and
Sailors from the Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Ventura
County in celebrating the life and history of World War II, Korean,
and Vietnam veterans during a Spirit of '45 event Aug. 12, 2014 held
at Meadowbrook Senior Living at Agoura Hills, an assisted living and
hospice care home.
Spirit of '45 commemorates the end of
World War II 69 years ago and recognizes the generation of
servicemen and women who served during World War II. They are the
nation's oldest group of veterans.
Aviation Ordnance Second Class Jose Serrano, of Navy Operational
Support Center, Ventura County, with Dave Swerdlow, U.S. Marine
Corps, 4th Marine Division and a Meadowbrook Senior Living resident,
during an event to honor the World War II veterans on August 12,
2014. (U.S. Navy photo by YN2 Paulyn Santiago)
VITAS Innovative Hospice Care arranged the visit at the
Meadowbrook Senior Living at Agoura Hills assisted living
center. The NOSC Ventura County Color Guard opened the event
and Lyndsey Hale, VITAS veterans' community liaison, was the
master of ceremonies.
"We are honored to be here,"
said Hale, also a military family descendant and navy
spouse. "It is important to honor our flag, the symbol of
the United States and the Veterans who served our nation. As
a WWII Veteran once told me, WWII was the last time a war
was truly won. It is near and dear to my heart to make sure
our veterans are honored properly at end of life. It is even
more important to me however to make sure our veterans are
honored before that. The Spirit of '45 really is about
preserving and remembering what our greatest generation went
through to get us here."
Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd
Class Jose Serrano, NOSC Ventura County, petty officer in
charge of the color guard, felt the weight of the world was
on his shoulders before parading the colors.
God for the men and women who went before us for the liberty
and the freedoms we have today," said Serrano.
Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Ronnerick Rios, NOSC Ventura
County, performed in the color guard and stayed after to
visit with the veterans and senior citizens. "After talking
and hearing their incredible stories of service, they
reminded me why I chose to serve in the Navy.”
Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Ronnerick Rios, of Navy Operational
Support Center, Ventura County, with Lt. Arthur, Navy World War II
veteran and a Meadowbrook Senior Living resident, during an event to
honor the World War II veterans on August 12, 2014. (U.S. Navy
photo by YN2 Paulyn Santiago)
The national anthem and Pledge of Allegiance were performed,
followed by speaker Capt. Tom Long, commanding officer, NOSC Ventura
County. Long's grandfather served in World War II and the Korean
War, and was on the USS Canberra, a Baltimore-class cruiser that was
torpedoed in October 1944.
"We are here to honor, show our gratitude, and connect with our
greatest generation of Americans. Today is a day to honor and give
appreciation to you for all you have done for our great country.
Over the years I have been honored to meet many WWII veterans. To me
all WWII veterans are heroes. I grew up grew up hearing the stories
from both my grandfather, as well as my father, who was about 8
years old, and tried to imagine what it would be like to live during
that time. I often ask myself, would I be able to do what they did.
Without your sacrifice and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, we
would not be here. Today will be memorable for me, and I know for
others Sailors here with me today what they will be enriched by the
history in this room and the opportunity to share their
experiences," said Long.
"It was a great honor to be in the
presence of all who have served before me and to talk to the spouses
of some of the greatest men who served. In my time collaborating
with them, the Golden Girls as they are often referred to at
Meadowbrook, it has become manifest to me that we continue to honor
our veterans and their stories but never forget to talk to the
spouses about their experiences as well. I live by and value honor,
courage and commitment and these women embodied all of these virtues
with abundant distinction. I thoroughly enjoyed talking to them and
only hope they got something from me as I did from them,” said
Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Jeffery Riley, NOSC Ventura County.
“Their stories were absolutely amazing and something that I will
NOSC Ventura County, located in Port Hueneme,
California, conducts training, administration and execution of Navy
Reserve policy for approximately 1,200 reserve Sailors in 39
administratively assigned units.
By U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Ryan arnoldussen
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