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Posted: May 27, 2013 – 11:16pm – Amarillo Globe News

By Amanda Castro-Crist

Every Memorial Day, citizens across the country spend the holiday honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country.

This year, many spent the day at Ussery-Roan Texas State Veterans Home to help honor the fallen comrades and show residents they, too, are appreciated and not forgotten.

12287087“We run the risk of forgetting what people have done,”
said Darrell Burton, a chaplain with High Plains Christian Ministry Foundation. “It’s a day set aside to remember those who have given their lives so that we may have our freedom.”

Burton provides pastoral care and leads services at the home and two other facilities. Monday, he led a memorial service to honor those who have died. During the service, he read names of the fallen while ‘Taps,” the musical piece traditionally played at military funerals, played.

“I thought it was wonderful. It was so moving,” said Joyce Stubblefield. Her husband, C.W. is a resident at the home. Originally from Texas, C.W. served in Tacoma, Wash., as an engineer in the Army after being drafted during World War II.

12287088Members of the Palo Duro High School Air Force Junior ROTC also visited the home. Seven of the program’s 94 cadets presented a rifle exhibition to the veterans.

Many of the cadets plan on enlisting after graduation, and said they hope participating in JROTC will help with that goal.

“It’s a citizenship program,” said senior Jordan Ramos, the group’s commander, adding the group has contributed 1,064 hours to the community in the past 10 months.

Ernie Reyes, the activities director, asked the group to participate. Reyes, who served four years on active duty and is now with the National Guard, is a graduate of Palo Duro High School and said he was also a member of the JROTC.

After the exhibition, cadets stood in silence alongside the veterans as Taps played.

Luther Green was moved to tears when he heard the tune. Green, an SP4 during the Vietnam War, said he enjoyed the JROTC exhibition. His daughter, Andria, a former JROTC cadet, is stationed in Okinawa, Japan.

“I’m proud of all of my family. They have served in every generation since the 1800s,” said Green.

Kevin Peachey, a volunteer with Odyssey Hospice, also spent his day at the home. Dressed as Uncle Sam, he took pictures and spoke with veterans.

“I think that people, not just veterans, should not be forgotten. We can only hope that other people don’t forget to come visit,” Peachey said.