Pocahontas County Veterans Honor Corps commander Rick Wooddell recognizes local veterans at the annual Veterans Day dinner Friday at the Pocahontas County Opera House. B. Nottingham photo
Pocahontas County Veterans Honor Corps commander Rick Wooddell recognizes local veterans at the annual Veterans Day dinner Friday at the Pocahontas County Opera House. B. Nottingham photo

Brandon Nottingham
Staff Writer

The Pocahontas County Veterans Honor Corps held its 21st annual Veterans Day Dinner at the Pocahontas County Opera House Friday.

The first Veterans dinner was served at the Moose Lodge in Buckeye; then for a time it was held at the Dunmore Community Center. Through the years, the number of attendees has increased and, now, the event fills the opera house.

The dinner was open to all Veterans – present and past – and their families. The meal was catered by the Greenbrier Grille and IGA.

It would be hard to find a better meal. Those in attendance were treated to ham, mashed potatoes, hamburger steak, green beans, rolls, as well as cakes decorated with the different branches of the military.

Rick Wooddell, President of the Pocahontas County Honor Corps, addressed the group.

“Veteran’s Day is set aside to remember every man and woman who has taken up arms to defend our country. We honor every soldier, sailor, marine, airman, and coast guardsmen who gave some of the best years of their lives to the service of the United States and stood ready to give life, itself, on our behalf. Twenty-five million veterans walk among us, and on this day, our nation pauses to remember them all.

“This year’s message comes from Ash Carter – the current Secretary of Defense.

‘For nearly a century, this day has marked a sacred moment to remember those who have stepped forward to defend our nation and protect all that we hold dear. As I join the President at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, my thoughts will be with the veterans among us who 70 years ago fought their way up Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima, or crossed the Rhine into Germany. I will think about the veterans who, today, can tell their grandchildren of the freezing temperatures at the Chosin Reservoir 65 years ago, or the scorching heat of the Mekong Delta 50 years ago. I will remember and honor the obligations we have to the veterans of the Gulf War, and to those who’ve performed with excellence in the past 14 years in Afghanistan and Iraq. And I will remember the more than 450,000 men and women currently deployed in every time zone and in every domain. My first commitment as Secretary of Defense is to our people. Because our men and women in uniform, and their families, are what make our nation’s military the finest fighting force the world has ever known. That’s why on this day, and every day, we should celebrate each generation by telling their stories, helping those that need it, by honoring their example, those who have done so much for our nation and our world. To our veterans – “thank you.” Thank you for everything you’ve done for our country, and for the many ways you continue to serve your communities and your nation. You are the living embodiment of the tradition and the promise that makes our nation great today and inspires us for the future. May God bless you, and may God bless the great nation you have stepped forward to defend.’

“This is the embodiment of how we should all feel,” Wooddell said. “So let’s remember all of our past and present veterans in this manner.”
Wooddell began a new tradition by ringing a bell in honor of all of the fallen veterans who have been laid to rest in the past year. The POW/MIA table was set to honor those servicemen and women, as well.

The Honor Corps is seeking new members. Anyone interested in being a part of this important service should contact a present corps member.

The dinner was made possible with the generous support of the Bath County Pumped Storage Station employees, Dominion, Frontier Communications, Frontier employees, Family Resource Network and the Marlinton Woman’s Club.