Published November 13, 2014
By David Tuma, The Belton Journal
Area veterans were honored at the Belton Senior Center Monday. It was a standing room only crowd who honored current military personnel and the veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Middle East wars.
Jay Taggart and David Jones, who are board members on the Belton Area Citizens for Seniors, helped organize the event along, with David and Sharon Peck. The Belton Area Citizens for Seniors runs the Belton Senior Center.
“This is for veterans in the area. The Belton Senor Center is closed Veteran’s Day, so we held the event today,” said Taggart.
There were a large number of active duty soldiers on hand at the event who attended on their own time. Veterans were also bused in from the Veteran’s Hospital.
“There are a lot of Patriots in Belton. Generations of families in this town have a connection with Ft. Hood. Over the years we have had several Generals from Belton who have severed our nation,” said Belton Mayor Marion Grayson.
Ed Bandas, a former Marine, and Command Sgt. Maj. Terry Burton with the 13th Sustainment Command were guest speakers for the event.
Bandas hit some key points about the importance of the military.
“There are 21.7 million veterans in the U.S., most of which are from an older era,” he said. “I see some of the younger soldiers with three to eight tours (ribbons) of duty in Iran on uniforms. Things have changed over time. We have more organizations helping our veterans today. Some of you may have come home with people (Vietnam) spitting on you. This morning I read an article from New York questioning why we honor veterans. I thought, ‘You’re welcome to have the right to say that!’ I am so proud to live in this part of the country that is military-friendly.”
Burton will soon be deployed to Kuwait. The 13th Sustainment Command will be in charge of logistics in the Middle East. Logistics has been the key advantage the free world since World War II. The U.S. military’s ability to supply huge numbers of highly trained and equipped divisions has helped keep the world free the past 75 years.
Burton and his wife Natalie were honored for their service to their country.
“Our nation owes a great debt to our veterans. They have preserved our liberty that our founding fathers created. Freedom is special for those who fought for it. It is our love of freedom that makes America unique in the world. It is our duty to honor the dead and those who served. Almost one in three of us are in some way connected to a veteran.”
Patriotic songs were performed by the Belton High School Madrigal, the invocation led by Craig Pearson, colors posted by BHS Junior ROTC, and the military anthems played by Lisa Clement.