Virus takes out some vet salutes

Veterans are shown saluting the American flag during last year's program honoring vets at Lee Elementary in Pauls Valley. Like so many other events the one planned for this Veterans Day at the school won't happen because of COVID-19. (PV Democrat photo)

A virus pandemic may still be gripping much of life today, but that won't stop some Garvin County military veterans from honoring those who have served.

Although COVID-19 has shut down some things, vets in both Elmore City and Stratford still have a focus on this Veterans Day and offering some solemn salutes to those serving in any of the American military branches.

Members of American Legion Post 191 in Stratford do plan to take part in a special veterans program at the local high school on Wednesday.

“I'll talk to the kids a little about patriotism, tell them some war stories, try to tell them just the good stuff to reflect on what patriotism means,” said Jim Korzan of the Stratford post.

On the same day post members are also planning a program in neighboring Vanoss followed that night with a veterans dinner at the First Baptist Church in Stratford. There was also a local vet recognition event on Saturday, Nov. 7.

“It's kind of sad because so many vets are getting older. You tend to remember them the way they were,” Korzan said as he reflects on military service and the meaning of Veterans Day.

“But I can say I'm probably as much or more proud of this country now than when I served.

“The best thing about serving was coming home,” he said, adding his service was in the Air Force Special Ops in Vietnam.

•••

Veterans Day is a whole lot different for members of American Legion Post 202 in Elmore City.

Ron Endler said post members normally attend a program at an Elmore City-Pernell school on Veterans Day with music honoring each branch of the military.

That program won't happen this year thanks to COVID-19.

“We were all going to meet at the school and have some sort of program honoring veterans. All that's put on the back burner,” Endler said.

“There's not much we can do right now. Everybody is kind of nervous because of the pandemic. I don't think there's much we can do.”

Although it's not really a program Endler does say Elmore City-Pernell football players are planning to honor veterans by each carrying an American flag onto the field for a playoff game later this week.

A couple of other annual gatherings to honor veterans won't be held because of the virus threat.

One is an annual musical program offered by fourth grade students at Lee Elementary.

That one won't happen this year as some positive COVID-19 tests have resulted in the school going to virtual learning until Nov. 16.

Another casualty of the pandemic is a big luncheon normally held each Veterans Day by employees working in offices at the Garvin County Courthouse in Pauls Valley. Like others this event won't happen because of the virus.

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