63rd RSC Cg, Local Nonprofit Honor Veterans
Story by SGT Lena Wakayama on 11/21/2017
SAN BRUNO, Calif. The flags representing various branches of the U.S. military flapped gently in the breeze alongside the POW/MIA and American flags as veterans, family members and supporters look on. Miniature replicas of Old Glory sit tucked in the back of worn caps and wave enthusiastically in the hands of audience members as speakers address the crowd during the Veterans Day observance event hosted by The Avenue of Flags Committee at Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, CA., Nov. 11.
Maj. Gen. Brian E. Alvin, commanding general, 63rd Regional Support Command was invited by the Committee, a nonprofit organization in support of Golden Gate National Cemetery, to be a guest speaker at the event.
"I'm humbled today, to be among so many veterans, community leaders, and those who care so much about our brother and sisters in uniform," he said, nodding toward the men and women seated before him. "I want to recognize that we are not alone today; we are taking a moment with the rest of this great nation of Americans to remember our veterans."
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of a 2016 survey, there are approximately 18.5 million veterans in the country. Alvin said that it is imperative that the service and sacrifice of veterans are never overlooked or forgotten.
That recognition took tangible form as Alvin, alongside Mikhail I. Venikov, an Army veteran and founder of the nonprofit organization called Ranger Road, presented lapel pins and decals to members of the audience who had served in the Vietnam War.
The Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin was created to present to veterans who served between
Nov. 1, 1955 and May 15, 1975, according to Kathleen McCall, the director of The Avenue of Flags Committee and the event's master of ceremonies. These pins are presented to Vietnam veterans around the country in similar ceremonies.
The ceremony also included performances by the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps Band of the West and Color Guard, the Ragazzi Young Men's Ensemble, and Spc. Rebecca Shaw, a bagpiper with the 191st Army Band and bagpiper.
"It is a privilege to be with all of you today, and to thank both the millions of soldiers who served and continue to serve, and the many millions of Americans who make our service possible," Alvin said.
McCall echoed those sentiments as the ceremony closed, saying, "This day is about you and honoring your service, your contributions and sacrifice. We are the nation we are because of you."