By DAVID A. WILSON
Salute to Veterans was the theme of the Tuesday, Nov. 19, meeting of the Moniteau County Retired Teachers' Association (MCRTA) at the Fellowship Hall of California United Church of Christ.
MCRTA President David Jungmeyer welcomed the retired school staff members, families and guests and served as MC for the event.
Following the Invocation by Dr. Andrew Lovins, pastor of the California U.C.C., the flag was presented by Boy Scout Troop 120, the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Moniteau County Presiding Commissioner Kenny Kunze, and the "Star Spangled Banner" sang.
After the veterans present were introduced, Nancy Lewis read "America's White Table" by Margot Theis Raven.
The program "Honor Flight Reflections" included three speakers - a Guardian, a Patriot Guard Rider and veteran who had been on an Honor Flight.
Each Honor Flight from Columbia includes about 110 people, of who most are veterans. The remainder are physicians and Guardians. Each Guardian is assigned to three veterans.
Kirby Baumert, who served as Guardian on seven Honor Flights, spoke of the beginning of the program and related a few of his experiences. He also commented on the honor of helping the veterans.
Bob Staton, Patriot Guard Rider, related the work the motorcycle group does in escorting the veterans for Honor Flights.
Richard Schroeder, veteran of the Korean War, spoke of the deep emotional meaning for veterans such as himself involved in the Honor Flights. He was on Mid-Missouri Honor Flight 22, with Dale Deraps as his Guardian.
Rep. David Wood, who assisted in sponsoring the event, sent a letter in support of the veterans. Rep. Caleb Jones also assisted in sponsorship.
A banner which was on the wall for the retired teachers event was done by Payton Hampton, Jametown Eager Eagles 4-H Club, for Honor Flight 25.
Veterans present were retired school staff members Alex Cacioppo, Tipton; Ron Harlan, California; Phil Lewis, California; Bill Merritt, California; Joe Rowland, Tipton; George Shelley, California; Glen Shoemaker, High Point; Bob Staton, California; Herb Strobel, California; Melvin Twaddle, California. Guest veterans present were Kirby Baumert, Honor Flight Program speaker; Kenny Kunze; and Richard Schroeder, Honor Flight speaker.