Remembering our fallen heroes

Guest speaker Dave Althoff (left) is introduced by League Commandant Dave Lott.

Guest speaker Dave Althoff (left) is introduced by League Commandant Dave Lott.

Denise Lott

This year’s Memorial Day service for Sun Lakes was again held at the Pavilion of the Sun Lakes Country Club. There was a good-sized crowd gathered to remember our fallen military members. The program was coordinated by East Valley Marines Detachment 1296 and the Sun Lakes Country Club staff.

The morning ceremony began with the Marine JROTC from Vista Grande High School in Casa Grande posting the colors. After the Pledge of Allegiance and Welcome by Detachment Commandant Dave Lott, the Chordaires sang a medley of tunes in their “Ode to America.” VFW Chaplain Julian Pickens gave the invocation, and then memorial wreaths were placed on stands by representatives of Jewish War Veterans, East Valley Marines, Korean War Veterans, Order of the Purple Heart, Daughters of the American Revolution and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Our guest speaker was David Althoff, Lt. Col. USMC (Ret). Dave was 1968 Marine Corps Aviator of the year and was inducted into the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame in 2000. He is the recipient of three Silver Stars, four Distinguished Flying Crosses, 55 Air Medals and numerous other citations. In Vietnam during the 1967-1968 period, Dave flew over 1000 combat missions. His talk shared with us some of the incidents of bravery and of sacrificed lives by our young Americans during that conflict.

The ceremony concluded with the Chordaires singing “God Bless America,” a benediction and the playing of “Taps.” Refreshments followed in the Navajo Room.