Governor Declares Next Week "Veteran's Week" in Indiana
Governor Joseph E. Kernan proclaimed next week, 9-15 November, as Veteran's Week in Indiana, yesterday at a special ceremony in Roanoke, Indiana, a small community just southwest of Fort Wayne.
Unable to attend, the governor's proclamation was read by state senator Tom Wyss, who was assisted by Bill Jackson, Director of the Indiana Department of Veterans' Affairs. In the proclamation the governor stated that "the men and women of the Armed Forces of the United States have served proudly and gallantly in military operations all over the world and have proven time and again that they possess the same patriotic spirit and devotion to their country as their forebears, have endured extended separations from their families and loved ones and have been required to temporarily suspend their professional careers."
The citizens of Indiana are encouraged to plan, sponsor and attend activities which welcome home and honor our brave servicemen and women.
Tom Applegate, president of the Indiana Veterans' Service Officers' Association, and one of the organizers of the event, said, "The governor's proclamation encourages the citizens of Indiana to recognize the sacrifices that veterans and their families have made. Indiana's National Guard unit, 1-293d Infantry, based in Fort Wayne, became the Army's "Force of Choice" during their deployment to Kuwait and Iraq and we all should be very proud of them." He stated that he and Gloria Holzinger, Chairperson of the Huntington County Armed Forces Homecoming Committee, felt that, in light of the sacrifices of the men and women from Indiana who are serving their country, more was called for this year than just the traditional one-day Veteran's Day celebration on November 11th.
Roanoke was selected for the reading of the proclamation because its Main Street has become a traditional setting for patriotic celebrations.
The mayors or their representatives from Huntington, Fort Wayne, and Warsaw, cities in which elements of the 1-293d Infantry are based, also attended the event, as well as company commanders and first sergeants of each company and the battalion executive officer and command sergeant major.
Sponsored by Pete Eshelman, president and CEO of American Specialty in Roanoke, the event drew local elementary school children and teachers, as well as several state senators and representatives and other members of the National Guard battalion.