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2004 EVENTS

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"WALK OF HONOR" 2nd DEDICATION CEREMONY 2004

Second Dedication of the "Walk of Honor" - Pearl Harbor Day - December 7, 2004 at 10:00 am at the Island Club flag area.  Lexington Honor Guard performed their special Rifle Drills.  Key speakers were veterans from WWII - Phil Serpe; Korea - Jay Burgess; Vietnam - Milan Zimer and Iraq - Marine S/Sgt Jim Vaccaro along with LCA Board Member Kathi Crupi.  Commander Ernie Smith and Vice Commander Ben Polk  presented various aspects of the short program and presented a certificate of appreciation to Jennifer Letter, whose company inscribes the bricks.  Each brick purchased also contained a portion that was given to the Childrens Cancer Center at Health Park, Barbara's Fund. The purpose of the ceremony was to honor those Lexington Veterans and veteran relatives who have bricks dedicated at the new "Walk of Honor" site and reflect on the sacrifices that occurred on Pearl Harbor Day 64 years ago.  Refreshments were served after the ceremony in the Activities Center.  A sizeable crowd attended.

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Honor Guard marching in Vice Commander Ben Polk  Iraq veteran Marine Sgt Jimmy Vaccaro Vietnam Vet Milan Zimer

VETERANS DAY - NOVEMBER 11, 2004

Veterans Day - Thursday, Nov 11, 2004 - Led by the Lexington Veterans Association Honor Guard, proceedings began at 10:30 pm in front of the Main Clubhouse.  Lee County Sheriff-elect Mike Scott was the featured speaker and gave us every reason to have confidence in him as he takes over this important position in January. Several pieces of patriotic music were expertly sung by the Lexington Chorale led by Carol Junck.  Each year the Lexington Veterans Association awards a scholarship to the Edison Community College student who is judged as the best in writing an essay on the subject of "Freedom Is Not Free".  This year's recipient is Cares Adajar and she read her essay.  Cares is originally from the Philippines and came to the U.S. when she was 4 year of age.  Her father, whom she speaks proudly of was a sailor in the U.S. Navy.  She is a proud American who understands Freedom and an excellent student. Joe Bruno  once again played the role of military bugler but in addition rendered a special trumpet solo in honor of over 40 of the 62 WWII Veterans who reside at Lexington.   Those in attendance were asked, as their names were read, to come up front for a special salute.  A large crowd showed up for the Luncheon following the ceremony in the Vista Room.  

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Lexington Veterans Honor Guard marching in All the guards are there except Ernie and Rich  Guards at Port Arms Lee County Sheriff Elect Mike Scott - Keynote Speaker
       

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Lexington WWII Vet Dr. John Churchill & Mike Scott Cares Adajar receives Vets scholarship from Vice Commander Ben Polk    
       

"WALK OF HONOR" 1ST DEDICATION CEREMONY 2004

On Saturday, Sept 11, 2004, the beautiful granite memorial stone introducing the "Walk of Honor" was unveiled.  This marked the first dedication of the Lexington Veterans "Walk of Honor", the second dedication will take place on Pearl Harbor Day, Dec 7.  Speakers included Ernie Smith, Commander of the Lexington Veterans Association; Ben Polk, Vice Commander and Project Director for the Walk of Honor and Al Kinkle, Lexington's General Manager.  The Lexington Veterans Honor Guard participated in the ceremony.  Refreshments were served in the Island Club after the dedication.  About 60 people attended. Bricks honoring a Lexington Veteran or a relative of any Lexington family who honorably served in the Armed Forces of the U.S. or that of a foreign country coalition can be purchased tax deductible.  Call Ben Polk at 267-2840 or pick up a form at the Clubhouse front desk. 

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Lexington Honor Guard led by James Antonic New Memorial Stone The "Walk of Honor" still a work in progress About 60 people attended

MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY 2004

Over 250 people joined us under the sun shade at the memorial flag site Main Clubhouse at 10:30 am on May 31 for this special ceremony featuring the Lee County Pipes & Drums, Trumpeter Joe Bruno and our Lexington Honor Guard.  Our keynote speaker - Lois Thome, WINK TV Anchorwoman gave one of best messages ever heard here about her experience as a little girl with her Korean War Veteran father on past Memorial Days.  Petty Officer Todd Frey, local Navy Recruiter also spoke in behalf of our current military men and women.  LCA President Dick Geib talked about the difficult memories and mixed blessings of his experience as a soldier in the Korean War. The crowd was witness  to a very special "Lexington's own Flanders Field" remembrance of placed White Crosses and Stars of David to our 24 deceased Lexington Veterans and a cross placed by Sailor Todd Frey for those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.   (Photos below by Monica Hill and Rae Smith)

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Honor Guard and Pipes & Drums March In Lexington Honor Guard Lexington Honor Guard Repositioned Joe Bruno playing the Star Spangled Banner

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Keynote Speaker Lois Thome - WINK TV Anchorwoman Lexington's own Flanders Field - Crosses & Stars of David for Deceased Veterans Lee County Pipes & Drums Vice Commander Ben Polk opening ceremonies

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Navy Recruiter Petty Officer Todd Frey Honoring deceased Lexington Veterans - Commander Ernie Smith officiating Memorial Stone, Wreath & Flanders Field  

LEE COUNTY MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR DR. ROY WOOD

The Lexington Veterans Honor Guard attended the Lee County Memorial Service for Army Special Forces soldier Dr. Roy Wood at the Old Courthouse in downtown Ft. Myers on May 28, 2004.  Dr. Wood was a Lee Memorial Emergency Room Physician before being called up for active duty in Afghanistan.  He leaves a wife and two small children.  The Special Forces Honor Guard from Dr. Wood's unit was honor guard of note in the impressive ceremony.

VETERANS DINNER/DANCE

Veteran's Gala Ball - Saturday, March 27, 2004 - Dinner & Dance to the big band sounds of the BrunoConnection - back by popular demand - and judging by the enthusiasm of the over hundred attending Joe Bruno and his group will be back next year.  This is the highlight event of the year for the veterans and their spouses.  Please put this date aside for your spring's major entertainment.  Joe promised that Eddie the drummer would perform a drum solo that would put people on their feet. One veteran said, " I have seen Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa in person and this guy is better" Another unexpected treat was the velvet voice of Joe Mudele bass player from London England - began playing jazz in 1948 following  his service in the Royal Air Force.  His jazz career started with Ronnie Scott & Johnny Dankworth in the Club 11 which was the first Be-bop club in England.  Joe then went into the Recording Studios where he worked with many American artists including Hoagy Carmichael, Judy Garland, Perry Como, Jack Jones, Billy Eckstine, Sophie Tucker and Barbara Streisand.  In 1949 Joe also had the good fortune to sit in with Charlie Parker at the Club St Germaine in Paris.  At 83, Joe is still going strong.  He and his wife were guests of Peter and Dorothy Elliott.  In addition to the great music, dinner was excellent and many prizes were raffled off during the evening.  

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Joe from England Polk and Geib  Joe Bruno on trumpet Eddie Graham on glasses...opps, drums 

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Phyllis & Bob Kelley  Polk and Antonic  Commander Ernie & Joan Sims - hey, where's Rae and Jim?  There is Rae & Paul Tenebaum and dancers 

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Mille & Ben Polk - that uniform is everywhere  Dick and Linda Short  Brownie and Pennie  Bob, Phil & the Hallisey's 

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Bobby Barnhardt on tenor sax Commander Ernie responding to "Anchors Aweigh"  Jim Sims is hearing the same song Joe & Rich first played together 54 years ago

THE EDISON "FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS" GRAND PARADE

Edison "Festival of Lights" Grand Parade - 7pm on Saturday, February 21, 2004 - The Lexington Veterans Honor Guard was given the honor of  leading this year's Grand Parade.  It is billed as the largest evening parade in America.  Fifteen different veteran and military units are in the parade.  Wink TV Channel 5 broadcast the entire parade.  We have four new members of the Guard that participated in the parade - Banner guard Ben Polk; flag bearers Frank Burlingham and Ned Gamsky; Rifleman James Antonic.  They are replacing guardsmen who are either recouping from illnesses or have injuries - Lou Calvanese, Henry Zemel, Paul Tenenbaum and Phil Loparo. It was a tough 2 mile march for old duffers, but we looked sharp and performed our rifle drills the entire length of the parade.  Our wives and about 6000 other people were at the stadium when we marched in.  We could hear their cheers and we could hardly wait to finish.  It was very gratifying to hear and see the some 200,000 patriotic citizens standing, clapping, cheering along the parade route.  Made it all worthwhile.