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Senior Center Honors Veterans

by Rachel Dickerson | November 24, 2021 at 6:08 a.m.
RACHEL DICKERSON/MCDONALD COUNTY PRESS The honor guard from the American Legion Post 392 posts the colors during an event honoring veterans at the McDonald County Senior Center in Noel on Saturday.

NOEL -- The McDonald County Senior Center in Noel honored veterans Saturday night with an honor guard from American Legion Post 392, music, and a dinner.

A number of veterans and others gathered at the center Saturday night for the event, which began with an hour of country music played by a live band.

Prior to the music, a couple of veterans shared accounts of their service.

Jess Thrasher of Lanagan, who now works as activities director at the McDonald County Living Center, served in the Marines from 1995 to 2000. She was 17 when she enlisted and had to have her father's permission at the time, she said. She worked in military intelligence as a special communications operator. She served at Camp Lejeune, where she met her husband, Richard. She served her last year in Okinawa, she said.

She also added her end of service date was put on hold because of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and she had three inactive years.

Tim McCaine of Pineville, post commander of American Legion Post 392, joined the Kansas National Guard in 1985 in Pleasanton, Kan., and was a first battalion, 127th field artillery, canon crew member. After a little more than two years, he took an active guard reserve job in 1987 and became the battalion legal clerk. In 1990 he went to Olathe, Kan., as an ammo sergeant and spent 10 years there. He then served in Lenexa, Kan., as a staff sergeant. At the same time, he was a training NCO and became a howitzer section chief. He retired in February 2007 and then joined the American Legion. He has been commander for five years.

Senior Center director Louine Gardner said, "(The veterans are) the ones that need to be honored because they're not recognized enough. We don't honor the ones that have saved us enough. The flag is more than material. It's the blood, sweat and tears of those who have defended us."

She said the center had the event two years ago and was unable to have it last year because of the covid-19 pandemic, but there are plans to make it an annual event.

Following the music, the honor guard posted the colors and led the group in the pledge of allegiance.

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