West Ridge Specialty Care held a Recognition Program on Veterans Day to honor residents who had served in the armed forces.
Sixteen West Ridge residents were honored during the program, a record for the facility. The recognition program at West Ridge has been taking place every Veterans Day for over 17 years.
Each of the 16 residents was presented with a boutonniere, certificate and miniatures U.S. Flag. The residents and staff were joined by members of the Knoxville American Legion and VFW, as well as members of the Melcher-Dallas American Legion. Employees from EveryStep Hospice also assisted with the program.
West Ridge veterans who were honored at the program include Myron Cooper, Darl James, Keith Agan, Neil Carruthers, Tom Brun, Nancy Naaktegboren, Gareth James “Jim” Beaver, Tom Rigg, Robert Runnells, Edward Wade, Marion Bailey, Larry Glen, Floyd Steeds, Stan Weber, James Hoch and Lois Akins. John Rhoads, who is on staff at West Ridge, was also honored for his service.
After each veteran had been honored, the ceremony concluded with the playing of Taps.
Myron Cooper — Myron was born on August 10, 1940 in Planefield, Indiana. He served is the Army as an E-F for three years prior to the Vietnam era. He was stationed in Berlin, Germany for two of those years.
Darl James — Darl was born on March 2, 1936 in Chariton. He was based in Morocco and served as a cook in the Air Force of four years. Darl is a member of the VA Chapter 102.
Keith Agan — Keith was born in Marion County on June 23, 1923. He served in the Army for 21 months as an MP during WWII.
Neil Carruthers — Neiled was born in Columbia on December 1, 1928. He served in the Air Force for three years.
Tom Brun — Ton was born on April 4, 1953 in Fairfield. He served in the Army as a Class E2 during the Vietnam War. He was based in Ft. Leonard, Missouri and Ft. Sill, Oklahoma.
Nancy Naaktegboren — Nancy was born on April 22, 1939 in Pleasantville. She served in the Army Reserve. Nancy later worked as a secretary at the VA Hospital in Knoxville.
Gareth James “Jim” Beaver — Jim was born on October 3, 1934 in Tracy. Jim served in the Army in Germany for two years.
Tom Rigg — Tom was born on January 22, 1950 in Moberly, Missouri. He served in the Army as a Captain during the Vietnam War in the 101st Air Borne Rangers. He was based in Vietnam for over seven years. He is a member of the VFW.
Robert Runnells — Robert was born on April 5, 1922 in Monroe County. He served in the Army as a Private First Class during World War II and was based in Italy for three years. He then worked at the VA Hospital in Knoxville for over thirty years. He is a member of the American Legion and VFW.
Edward Wade — Edward was born on January 9, 1931 in Birmingham, Alabama. He joined the Army and served for four years during the Korean War, Occupation of Japan. He then attend college and after graduating he joined the Air Force and served as a Sergeant and Crew Chief on a B-52 for thirteen years. While Edward was in the Air Force, Jimmy Stewart came to his base and Edward was co-pilot was Jimmy Stewart flew the plane.
Marion Bailey — Marion was born on August 28, 1934 in Knoxville. He served in the National Guard for six years.
Larry Glen — Larry was born on August 28, 1938 in Knoxville. He served in the National Guard for eight years.
Floyd Stebbeds — Floyd was born on April 19, 1921 in Mason City. He served as a Staff Sergeant in the Army and then in the Air Force for about five years during WWII. He was based in Camp McCoy, Wisconsin. He later studied to be an airplane mechanic.
Stan Weber — Stan was born on June 18, 1939 in Independence. He served as an Airman 2nd Class in the Air Force for four years prior to the Korean War. He was based in Iceland.
James Hoch — James was born on May 30, 1929 in Knoxville. He served in the Army for one year following WWII. He helped to train gun assembly in Ft. Worth, Texas.
Lois Akins — Lois was born on December 15, 1922 in Lucas County. She served in the Navy for two and a half years. during WWII. She was based in New York and Cleveland, Ohio. Lois is a 38-year active member of the American Legion.
John Rhoads — John was born on April 7, 1967 in Oskaloosa. He was a Sergeant in the Army 7th Infantry Division for six years. He was based in Beruit during the Persian Gulf War in 1988 and Panama in 1989. In 1990, he was in Somalia and Rwanda and the Gulf War in 1991.