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Active military and veterans treated to lunch

Posted: Tuesday, Nov 13th, 2012

Both activity duty and veterans were in attendance at Riverview Health’s Veteran’s Day lunch on Thursday. From left, Spec. Spencer Paulsen and Sgt. Dave Weipert, veterans Jim Thompson, Ron Zylstra and Kenny Rahn, Jane Thompson and Ssgt. Bart Sample and his wife Cassandra. Activity Director Lou Janklow challenges the crowd with military trivia. Friends Emily Johnson and WWII/Korea veteran Della Bechen. The women’s husbands, Don K. Johnson and Vernon Bechen, also served together during World War II.

On Thursday, Nov. 8th, Riverview Rehabilitation and Health Care Center invited the community’s veterans to join Riverview's veterans for an appreciation dinner honoring their service and sacrifice.

Over 40 members of the community, including both active and retired servicemen and women, reported to duty, enjoying an afternoon of food, fellowship, and entertainment. The community's involvement was integral in making this event special.

"How fortunate we are to live in a town that cares enough to continue to keep the people of Riverview involved in their community, and what better occasion than a Veterans Appreciation Dinner to show all our veterans how much we value them," said Riverview Activity Director Lou Janklow.

After opening with the Pledge of Allegiance and group singing of “God Bless America,” Staff Sergeant Bart Sample of the National Guard was asked to say a few words, and he spoke of his faith and the higher call to serve.

“One of my favorite sayings is ‘There’s only two defined forces that ever offered to sacrifice their life for you. One is Jesus Christ and the other is the American GI. The first died for your soul and the other for your freedom.”

After dinner and ice cream sundae desserts, the guests were regaled with a round of military-themed trivia emceed by Janklow, and the room was abuzz with shouted answers amid some seriously fun-spirited competition. Riverview’s guests were then joined by more residents and family members as the afternoon’s headliner, singer Bruce Dysthe, began his concert. From patriotic standards to country classics, Dysthe entertained the crowd with songs many knew by heart, some even choosing to sing along.

Riverview’s staff and residents were honored to host such exceptional company for the afternoon, and they echo the sentiment spoken by SSgt. Sample. “I am humbled to be standing in a roomful of men and women who have proven that they have the willingness to sacrifice everything for us.”

“And speaking for those of us who are still serving, we will try to fill those boots. Your footprints are really big. You guys set the bar amazingly high. I just want to thank you. You are an inspiration to all of us, and we will do our best to live up to your standard,” he concluded.

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