Veterans’ Day Celebration Honors Vets At Coronado Retirement Village - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado Island News

Veterans’ Day Celebration Honors Vets At Coronado Retirement Village

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Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2019 3:53 pm | Updated: 3:57 pm, Thu Nov 14, 2019.

On Veterans’ Day, Nov. 11, 2019, Coronado Retirement Village paid homage to 20 Veterans who are current residents. This year’s recipients include members representing all branches of the service.

The ceremony began with the singing of the Star Spangled Banner led by talented vocalist and guitarist Samantha Albrecht.

Then Chaplin John Casto from Sonata Hospice led the attendees in prayer. Albrecht followed with renditions of well known songs representing four branches of service, Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy. Members of the Marine Corps dressed in uniform marched to the front carrying a folded flag which was then unfurled and displayed. Then Chaplin Casto made an opening statement. He talked about his own family who served in the military, including himself, and said that it was important to honor those presently serving in the military as well as those from the past, many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives. He also made a personal statement about the meaning of Veterans’ Day.

Then came the eagerly awaited pinning ceremony with each recipient receiving a flag pin and a certificate.

Afterwards “God Bless America“ was sung by all who were present. The ceremony concluded with the Marines folding the flag, with a moment of silence following and then “Taps” were played. The recipients were also involved in the cutting of the ribbon in front of the photographs of the honored veterans on the Wall of Honor.

I had the opportunity to interview two of the recipients Montrula Brazwell and Colonel Fred Allega. Both of them had led exciting lives during their tours of duty with the military.

Montrula Brazwell served in the Army from 1954-1967 as a Specialist 5. She went to school to be an LVN licensed vocational nurse and worked primarily in the operating room in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She saw a lot of wounded vets who fought in Vietnam. She enlisted at the age of 18 and liked being away from home. When asked about her ethnicity and gender she said she had no problems. She feels women should join the armed forces and discover that there are many opportunities available, including help to pay for college under the GI Bill.

Colonel Fred Allega served in the Marine Corps 31 years from 1959-1990 as a helicopter pilot. His duties included being in the Presidential Squadron HMX1 flying President Nixon and President Ford. He did two tours in Vietnam and was on the Avenue of Heroes two years ago. After serving in the military he worked for a private company doing civilian fixed based operations. He worked on private aircraft at LAX and in Santa Barbara and retired in 2005 from his civilian job.

Both he and his wife Bunni like to travel and have traveled around the world. They have been married for 50 years and have two sons. One lives in Baltimore and the other in London.

I learned a lot today which makes me proud to be an American.

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