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An opportunity to say thank you
Community comes together to observe Veterans Day
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Larry Buczinsky discusses his military experiences with Great Bend school children Friday morning during the sixth-annual Veteran Appreciation Day at the KANSASWORKS office. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

Veterans’ Day observations today in Great Bend
The Great Bend American Legion will present a Veterans Day ceremony at 10:30 a.m. today at Great Bend’s Veterans Park Memorial. American Legion Riders will stand a flag line, and American Legion Post Commander Bob Jarmer will give a short talk before flags are posted.  
The Great Bend High School Band will perform, and Kevin Lockwood and a group of WWII re-enactors will appear in uniform as a tribute to veterans of that war.  
Following the program Sunday, Legion Riders will Stop at all four Great Bend care homes to honor veterans. They include Sterling House, River Bend, Cherry Village and Great Bend Health and Rehabilitation. This is the third year they’ve made a point of formally greeting and thanking veterans.
At 4 p.m. at the Great Bend Veterans of Foreign Wars post home, members of the Central Kansas Thread Benders Quilting Guild and Martha Smith, the regional coordinator for Quilts of Valor, will present a quilt to a veteran from each of the wars the United States has fought in recent history.  

For the veterans taking part in the Veteran Appreciation Day at the KANSASWORKS office Friday morning, it was a chance to relive and share their wartime experiences.
For the fifth graders from Lincoln Elementary School, it was a chance to hear first hand about sacrifice and learn the meaning of service.
“We do this as a way to say ‘thank you’ to our vets for all they’ve done,” said Edward Scott, event coordinator. This marked the sixth year for the observance to which the general public was also invited.
In addition to the school children and the vets, the day-long tribute included a static display of vintage military equipment and military memorabilia. There was also a lunch for veterans and their spouses.
The guest speaker was Kansas National Guard Capt. Peter Euler of the 283rd Special Troops Battalion based in Hays. He traces his families military history, saying he was a third-generation soldier.
He also talked about the current status of the reserves. “We still have units deploying,” he said.
Although fewer are headed to hot spots like Afghanistan, the troops are still going into dangerous conditions, often in the name of keeping the peace.
In all, Scott said the attendance this year was down a little from previous years. None the less, he said those attending, either veteran or non-veteran, benefited from the experience.