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PEARL HARBOR DAY CEREMONY - Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 1:30 pm at the Island Club "Walk of Honor" featured Evelyn Spencer who was present on that fateful day while working for the Department of the Navy at Pearl Harbor and whose husband was a Chief Warrant Officer on the USS Dobbin that day.  Lexington Veteran &  family representative Neil Solberg told the story of Purple Heart and Silver Star recipient POW Harold Vincent.  We also were treated to  music selections from Lexington's own vocalists, Alex Alexandro and world renown Bass Soloist Dr. Douglas Renfroe.  The Cypress Lake High School JROTC Color Guard and their solo Rifle Drill expert Mark Meinhart also performed along with the LVA Rifle Drill Team.  Piper George Cook led the march in and march out. Commander Bernie Gdula presided before a record audience.  (Photos by Barb Swanson and Audrey Valentine)

Memorial wreath honoring veterans who fought in WWII Piper George Cook leads the Cypress Lake JROTC Color Guard Followed by some of the LVA Rifle Drill Team

LVA Rifle Drill Team marches to place prior to National Anthem Large crowd and picture perfect day for Pearl Harbor Ceremony Ceremony led by Commander Bernie Gdula

Jay burgess & Paul Tenenbaum talking to Dr. Doug Renfroe who was once the Director of the Navy Sea Chanters in Washington, D.C. Bass/Baritone Soloist Renfroe singing God Bless America Pearl Harbor Survivor Evelyn Spencer telling her vivid story of that "Day in Infamy"

Neil Solberg describing Japan's torturous "Hell Ships" Showing Harold Vincent's Silver Star with 2 oak leaf clusters & his Purple Heart.  POW Vincent died serving his country. JROTC Instructor Bill Roseberry & Past Commander Ken Taylor saluting the wreath in memory of our fallen heroes

Alex Alexandro singing "Before You Go".  Alex is the LVA's Music Director Cypress Lake JROTC Color Guard JROTC Rifle Drill Specialist Mark Meinhart

VC Tenenbaum giving the prayer LVA Rifle Drill Team performing "Reverse Arms" during prayer Past Commander & Honor Guard Captain Rich Hill playing Taps


VETERANS DAY CEREMONY & LUNCHEON - Friday, November 11, 201 or better known as 11.11.11, was known for the discovery of a great speaker and a great singer as well as other fine features.  Navy Captain John Lazzaro spoke with vigor about what veterans mean to the nation and how much they contribute to the well being of people throughout the nation.  In our very midst we discovered an incredible talent in the melodic form of a Bass Soloist by the name of Dr. Doug Renfroe, a Lexington resident and world renown for his concerts.  Lexington employee veterans received recognition for their service and two Lexington Veterans, John DiMicco and Jewel Brown, were awarded the newly minted Korean Peace Medal for their service in the Korean War.  Alex Alexandro sang a stirring rendition of "Some Gave All" and 15 year old Piper Alex Danzi performed as did the Cypress Lake High School JROTC Color guard.  Six Marine Sergeants and an Army Medic, all with multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan attended as well as the Marine Poolies who marched in with the five service flags.  Commander Bernie Gdula presided.  (Photos by Barb Swanson and Audrey Valentine)

March in - Banner - Marine Poolies - LVA Color Guard - JROTC Color Guard Salute by Phil Loparo, Al Kuznicki, Dick Deters, Don Penner & Ron Hyers Flag Detail Ned Gamsky & Al Kuznicki - Honor Guard Captain Rich Hill on rifle

Six Marine Sergeants, Army Medic Steve Martinez & his father, Navy Captain John Lazzaro Commander Bernie Gdula Dr. Doug Renfroe singing the National Anthem

LVA Vice Commander Paul Tenenbaum delivering the prayer All these men are from the Marine Recruiting Office and have served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan 15 year old Piper Alex Danzi playing "Amazing Grace"

Commander Gdula, LCA President Bill Farley & General Manager Al Kinkle Lexington Employee Frank Gonzales & wife Linda Al and Bill awarding Head Golf Pro Jim Nuchereno with Veteran's Medallion

Cypress Lake High School JROTC Color Guard Vietnam Army Veteran & employee Frank Gonzales received his Medallion from General Manager Al Kinkle Alex Alexandro singing "Some Gave All"

LVA Flag Detail and Honor Guard Rich Hill congratulates fellow Korean Veteran Joe DiMicco upon being awarded the Korean Peace Medal as Jay Burgess looks on  Navy Captain John Lazzaro, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan was the main speaker

Korean War Veteran Jewel Brown awarded the Korean Peace Medal Luncheon after the ceremony American Flag and POW-MIA flag



MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY & LUNCHEON - Monday, May 30, 2011 at 10:30am - in front of Main Clubhouse/Vista Room.  We held it to just one hour and got lots of great compliments on how well the program went. We commemorated those who have given their life's in defense of our nation and we also honored our 68 Lexington Veterans who are a part of the Flanders Field Ceremony as well as the 7 who pasted away this last year. They were Bill Marsh, Michael Lynch, John "Tex" Burns, John Garlicki, Jim Harris, Bernie Rachlin and Jerry Mader.

The young people performing did a great job - 15 year old piper Alex Danzi of Fort Myers HS and the Lee County Pipes & Drums; JROTC Cadet Peyton Davis who sang an outstanding National Anthem; The Cypress Lake HS JROTC Color Guard with Instructor Army Sgt Bill Rosenberry executed very well; The Miller's grand daughter 8th grader Julia Kaye with a fine rendition of America, the Beautiful; The Marine Corps Non-Coms and Marine Poolies carrying the five service flags & folding the American Flag and the Edison State College scholarship winner...Marine Lance Corporal Shane Reinhardt who delivered
an extraordinary "Freedom Is Not Free" essay.

Newly appointed Commander Bernie Gdula led his first major event.  General Manager Al Kinkle was given an honorary membership with the LVA for his  fine support of the group.  Ben Polk awarded the Sheriff's Special Ops team a trophy for their dedicated help together with the LVA in the annual November shoot at the gunnery range for young Marine Poolies.  Performing for the LVA Color/Honor Guard was Captain Rich Hill - Banner Guard Ben Polk & Ken Taylor; Flagmen Ron Ruff & Al Kuznicki and Rifles James Antonic, Jay Burgess, Phil Loparo, Ned Gamsky & Bill Ratliff.

A crowd of nearly 300 attended the ceremony.  About 90 people attended the luncheon after.

(Photos by Audrey Valentine)

Ceremony starts with march in - Lone Piper, LVA Banner, 5 service flags carried by Marine Corps followed by LVA Color/Honor Guard and Cypress Lake HS JROTC Color Guard Commander Bernie Gdula welcomes everyone LVA Flagmen Ron Ruff and Al Kuznicki - front is Flanders Field

Cypress Lake HS JROTC Color Guard with Instructor former Army Sgt Bill Rosenberry Cadet Peyton Davis sings The National Anthem GM Al Kinkle receives Honorary Membership into the LVA

LVA Honor Guard performing Reserve Arms in respect to Prayer

Marine Lance Corporal Shane Reinhardt recites his winning essay in "Freedom Is Not Free" contest at Edison State College.  LVA awarded him a $500 scholarship. Cypress Lake middle school singer Julia Kaye sang America, the Beautiful.  She is the grand daughter of Howard & Fran Miller.

JROTC preparing for Present Arms for The National Anthem

Marines bring American flag to half staff

Marine Veteran Ben Polk gives the Invocation

Pictured above is Beth Marsh, her two daughters and six grandchildren.  Beth's                         husband, Bill Marsh, passed away last June.  Beth Marsh lives in Sommerset Villas                 and brought her family down to Lexington from Missouri where her summer home                is.  They came down to honor their father and grandfather on Memorial Day and to                 witness his Cross placed in Flanders Field. Bill was a US Marine veteran of the Cold             War and was an active member of the Lexington Veterans Association.  Immediate                  Past Commander Ron Ruff is shown on back row left and Commander Bernie Gdula                  is shown on the right.

15 year old Piper Alex Danzi, is a member of  the Lee County Pipes & Drums.  He is a student at Fort Myers HS  



The 2011 Edison Grand Parade occurred on Saturday evening Feb 19 - The Lexington Veterans Honor Guard were the lead unit in the Division 1 Veterans Section and 10 LVA HG marched with 5 Marine Poolies carrying the 5 Service Flags


R to L: Ken Taylor, Don Penner, Ron Hyers, Bud Passini, Ron Ruff, Bernie Gdula, Al Kuznicki, George Semenek, Dick Deters, Jay Burgess Banner followed by Marine Poolies carrying 5 Service Flags, followed by American Flag & Lexington Veterans Flag and 6 Riflemen  







LEXINGTON GRAND BALL IN HONOR OF VETERANS - Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 6 pm - Vista Room - A great time was had by all - Dancing, Chatting and fun in general.  Music: The Bruno Connection featuring Joe Bruno, Sr. on trumpet ;  Joe, Jr. on Bass ; Nick Bruno, 17 year old drummer sensation and Buster Coles, Guitar recording artist .  Changing of the Guard ceremony in which Commander Ron Ruff finished his two years as Commander and Bernie Gdula becomes the new Commander of the LVA. (Photos by Barbara Swanson, Claire Taylor,  Pam & Ron Ruff & Michelle Colby)

LVA Officers March In Piper George Cook Marine Veteran Ben Polk is Narrator of the Change of  Command Ceremony

LVA Officers Line Up for Change of Command Ceremony Past Commander Ernie Smith presents Bernie Gdula with LVA Sword Claire Taylor presents Pam Ruff with bouquet of roses

New Commander Bernie Gdula takes over for next two years Trumpeter Joe Bruno plays with his quartet - Bruno Connection Commanders All - Gdula, Ruff & Taylor - presentation of the "Bird"



Eleonore Ahn congratulating Monica Gdula - LVA First Lady New Commander Bernie Gdula and wife Monica

Monica Gdula chatting with Kathie Johnston Vice Commander Bruce Swanson with Immediate Past Commander Ron Ruff Bruce and Barbara Swanson

VC Swanson with WWII Marine Corps Veteran Jim Sterriker and Mary Jo Reinhardt

Shay Burgess flanked by two Marine Corps Iraq Veterans - on left, Sgt Cory Smith & on right, Staff Sgt Widmayer Bouchard The Young, The Brave, The Marines

Sgt Polk with his Marine Corps buddies - Bouchard and Smith Monica and Rich Hill flanking trumpeter Joe Bruno - longtime  Navy friend of Rich The Dancing Couple

Retired Couple - Immediate Past Commander Ruff & Former 1st Lady Pam Ruff The Ruffs again with their prizes New Commander Gdula and 1st Lady Monica Gdula

Presiding Officer & First Past Commander Hill enjoying a laugh with the Gdula's Lexington Veterans Flag handed over to new Commander Gdula VC Phil Loparo thanking Commander Gdula for his award

Bud and Bernice Passini chatting with Ben Polk Gdula joking with the Taylor's VC & Treasurer Paul Tenenbaum & wife Marilyn

Navy Veteran Al Gunderson and wife Pat