Attn. Veterans: Heroes Are Invited to Saturday Celebration at the VABy My Opinion @ 12:00 PM July 25, 2012
Fellow Veterans and Friends of Veterans:
Important Memo: Do not miss Saturday's "Veterans Summer Celebration and Picnic" as we pay special tribute to our heroic World War II and Korean War Veterans.
From 12 noon to 5 o’clock on the Grand Lawn of the VA Greater West L.A. Healthcare System, 11301 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.
American Olympic Champion:
This is the Olympic Game season and Champions are in the making. You have a chance to meet the granddaddy of all American Olympic champions.
Show up and meet Rafer Johnson, America’s legendary Olympic decathlon champion, team captain and flag bearer of the 1960 U.S. Olympic team. He carried the Olympic torch to light the Cauldron opening the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.
Rafer is founding chair of the Special Olympics of Southern California.
He served in the National Guard during the Vietnam era, and he is author of the book “The Best That I Can Be.”
Rafer truly represents American greatness. He came up from extremely humble beginnings but worked tirelessly to become one of America's greatest athletes. The he reached out to those who needed help. He was a leader in the civil rights movement and the Special Olympics. He never has stopped serving.
Throughout his great successes and remarkable achievements, Rafer has remained a gentleman, a role model for America.
On Saturday, there's more Olympic Game greatness to share as Ted Hayes, our Master of Ceremonies, is the father of Joanna Hayes, the 2004 gold medal Olympic champion in the women's 110 Hurdles.
For refreshments, we'll be enjoying Martinelli's legendary Gold Medal Apple Juice. Martinelli's still is a family-owned business that was founded 144 years ago, which is 20 years before the land on the National Veterans Home was deeded.
American War Hero:
Everyone who serves our country is a hero who made many sacrifices, while some sacrificed extraordinarily.
Saturday's keynote speaker is the legendary and highly decorated Col. Ken Hughey (Ret. USAF), a Veteran and ex-POW of the Vietnam War.
Ken enlisted in the Air Force at the age of 17, eventually climbing to combat fighter pilot, achieving the rank of colonel.
His fighter pilot experience includes 564 combat missions in Vietnam.
While leading a flight of F-4 Phantoms over North Vietnam, Ken was shot down by anti-aircraft artillery and was taken prisoner. As a POW, he was transferred among four prisons over six years, including the Hanoi Hilton, spending 14 months in a one-man cell. Five months were in complete isolation. His wife did not know he was alive until after 3½ years of his captivity. She had to wait in the silent hope that he survived being shot down, then wait another 2½ years for his release. She now stands proudly by his side, as she has for 58 years.
Ken’s military decorations include: Two silver Stars, Legion of Merit, three distinguished Flying Crosses, two Bronze Stars, 30 air medals and four Purple Hearts.
Throughout Ken's enormous sacrifices for our country and his many lifetime successes and remarkable accomplishments, Ken has remained a gentleman and role model for America.
It Doesn’t Get Better: Honoring our heroic World War II and Korean War Veterans, a heroic Ex-POW, an Olympic decathlon champion, Veteran service organization leadership, the matriarch of one of the families who donated the land of the National Veterans Home, and lots of picnic-style refreshments, entertainment, information booths, and most of all -- friendship and camaraderie with fellow Veterans and friends of Veterans.
Do not miss this historic event on Saturday!
Bring your family and friends and send this on to as many people you know, particularly our Korean and World War II Veterans.
God Bless America and the Men and Women Who Defend It!
Mr. Rosebrock, a Veteran, may be contacted at RRosebrock1@aol.com