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2006 EVENTS

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REMEMBER PEARL HARBOR DAY CEREMONY 2006

Thursday, December 7, 2006 was Remember Pearl Harbor Day Ceremony at the Island Club Walk of Honor at 10:30 am followed by refreshments at the Island Club.  Lexington WWII Pacific Theater Veterans were  honored. Master of Ceremonies was our newly appointed Commander Ken Taylor, retired Navy Commander.  Featured Speaker was Dr. Salvadore Kapunan, author of "Surviving WWII as a Child Swamp Hermit" and the fascinating story of how he lived for over three years in island swamps to protect himself as a child from the Japanese Army in the Philippines and how he went from an illiterate child to an adult earning a PhD and an EdD and wrote 5 books.   He signed a number of books after the ceremony for residents. The LCA Board was represented by Bill Allen and Al Kinkle, LCA General Manager spoke along with Navy Petty Officer Todd Frey.  Prayer by VC Paul Tenenbaum. The Lexington Veterans Honor Guard also performed.          (Photos by Howard Miller)

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Commander Ken Taylor as Master of Ceremonies Color/Honor Guard marching in Rifle team at Present Arms Flag detail Frank Burlingham & Bob Davis

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Vice Commander Paul Tenenbaum giving prayer US Navy Petty Officer Todd Frey Rifle team performing drill LCA Board Member Bill Allen

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Main Speaker Dr. Salvadore Kapunan     Rifleman Bernie Gdula at Parade Rest

VETERANS DAY 2006

Saturday, Nov 11, 2006 Veterans Day Ceremony 10:30 am in front of the main clubhouse.   It started and ended with the traditional march in and out of the Lexington Veterans Color/Honor Guard and the Lee County Pipes & Drums.  One of the highlights of the ceremony was "HONORING OUR WWII VETERANS" along with special musical presentations by the Paradise Coastmen.  Those outstanding songsters also performed at the luncheon. Main speaker was Navy Ensign Robert Ward  of the U.S. Navy Recruiting Office for Miami and the Caribbean. He is an 18 year serviceman who has conducted over 80 at sea rescue missions resulting in 162 lives saved.   In a both humorous and memorable ceremony retiring Veterans Commander Ernie Smith turned the reins over to Ken Taylor, the new Commander who just happens to be a retired Navy Commander.  (Photos courtesy of Milan Zimer & Howard Miller)

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Lee County Pipes & Drums Lexington Veterans Association Color/Honor Guard Main Speaker Navy Ensign Robert Ward Rifleman Jay Burgess, decorated Korean War Veteran

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Color/Honor Guard's two newest members - Ron Hyers & Bernie Gdula A portion of the 200+ crowd Pipes & Drums Colors marching out Bob Bartol representing LCA

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Color Guard Frank Burlingham & Bob Davis Rifle team Paradise Coastmen singers a big hit Commander Smith introducing the New Commander Ken Taylor

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Past Commander Rich Hill giving a send off to outgoing Commander Ernie Smith Chaplin Stan Lazarczyk talking with Rich Hill Vice Commander Ben Polk conducting the mustering out ceremony for Commander Smith Korean War Veteran Jay Burgess

MEMORIAL DAY 2006

Monday, May 29, 2006 witnessed one of the best Memorial Day programs ever at Lexington.  It started and ended with the traditional march in and out of the Lexington Veterans Color/Honor Guard and the Lee County Pipes & Drums.  In between came many colorful and somber reminders of what this day stands for.  Five smartly uniformed & decorated Marines participated throughout the ceremony from accepting a donation of the former Honor Guard rifles to lowering the flag and bringing it to half staff to standing guard at Flanders Field.  Singer Michael Hurley gave stirring renditions of "Before You Go" and "You Raised Me Up ".  Bob Douglas and Al Kinkle spoke in behalf of Lexington. Main speaker Commissioner John Albion clearly articulated our duty as citizens to honor those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom as well as always remembering all veterans who served this great country.  That was tearfully reinforced by Edison College scholarship winner Zuleidy D. Fernandez who described her family's perilous escape from Cuba when she was seven years old and what it means to have the opportunity to become a U.S. Citizen.  In a very somber moment, five new crosses were added to the previous 31 Crosses and Stars of David in Lexington's Flanders Field - Bob Kelley, Joe Leonard, Bill Myers, Bob Wildey and Jack Woods.  Then came the eerie strains of Echo Taps performed jointly by Korean War Navy veterans Joe Bruno & Rich Hill who were shoulder to shoulder ammo loaders on the Battleship New Jersey's 40 mm quad 55 years ago.  The Pipers "Amazing Grace" added the footnote to honoring these 36 deceased veterans as their family members gave a tearful farewell to the moment.  Commander Ernie Smith presided over his final ceremony as Commander of the Lexington Veterans Association.  (Photos by Howard Miller, Monica Hill & Liz Loparo)

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Color/Honor Guard marches in Lee County Pipes & Drums sets the tempo Rifleman James Antonic prepares donated rifle handoff Marine S/Sgt Pjanic inspects rifle

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A very hot day - thank goodness for the sun shade Four riflemen - l to r - Hill, Ratliff, Gamsky & Antonic give hand salute Korean War Navy vet Joe Bruno plays the other side of Echo Taps Korean War Navy vet Rich Hill starts the Echo Taps - Flagman Bob Davis holsters his flag

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Marine S/Sgt Roman guards Flanders Field Commander Ernie Smith & other Vice Commanders salute the American Flag Guard marches in Marine Gunnery Sgt Vaccaro gives Appreciation Award to Lexington Veterans Association

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Keynote speaker Albion chats with Scholarship winner Fernandez Vice Commander Ben Polk & S/Sgt Romano place the wreath Lexington's Flanders Field as Vice Commander Paul Tenenbaum delivers prayer Marine S/Sgt Vasquez with HG vet Len Rubens brings flag to half staff

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Michael Hurley sings "Before You Go" tribute to veterans Vets Flagman Frank Burlingham & Pipes & Drums Flagwoman Michael Hurley sings as Honor Guard Captain Grandfather listens Luncheon afterwards attended by over 100 people

VETERANS DINNER/DANCE 2006

Monday, February 20, 2006 was the scene of the Lexington Veterans Dinner/Dance for 2006.  Featuring the big band sound of the Joe Bruno Orchestra and the spectacular beat & showmanship of drummer Eddie Graham, it was a fun evening.  People arrived to the superb sounds of Piper George Cook.  The vets were hosts to current military personnel of each branch of the Armed Forces and their wives.   In a ticket raffle drawing the Association raised over $1000 for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund helping in the funding of a major rehab center for severely wounded returnees from Iraq and Afghanistan. (Photos by Rich Hill & Liz Loparo)

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Current military representatives being introduced by Vice Commander Ben Polk Trumpeter Joe Bruno - Korean War Vet Hot drummer Eddie Graham

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Highlight of the evening is the superb skills of Eddie as he moves around the Vista Room with the drum sticks in a show no one will forget Joe Bruno, Jr., a top notch bassist Part of the vets high command - Past Commander Rich Hill, Vice Commander Ben Polk and Commander Ernie Smith

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Rich Hill presents outgoing Commander Ernie Smith with an Eagle/Flag Trophy Recently retired Marine Major Morgan Polk, Ben & Millie's son, and his wife Kathy Commander Ernie Smith with current Navy Recruiter Todd Frey.  Is he going to reup?

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Rich along with Vice Commanders Paul Tenenbaum, Phil Loparo and Ben Polk Opening ceremony march in - regular military and veterans' officers lead by Piper George Cook Betty Hellner & daughter Monica Hill with British Army vet Peter Prichard & wife Joan

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Marine Corps Vet Pete Hackett Air Force Vet & Vice Commander Phil Loparo Army Vets & friends of Phil & Liz Loparo  - Joe Suybek and Mac Preske

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Vet friends - Phil Loparo standing with Mac & Jan Preske