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Honoring veterans who continue to serve

| November 2, 2022 1:00 AM

As we begin honoring veterans in November, I’d like to shine the light on a group that does those things that other people think just happen.

What I know and have witnessed firsthand through the years is that our veterans continue to serve long after their enlistment and active duty have ended. A perfect example can be found with Rathdrum’s Manuel Schneidmiller American Legion Post 154. Since its inception in 2015, its honor guard has done the heavy lifting as the primary honor guard to provide graveside rifle salutes and flag presentation to the families of veterans throughout Kootenai County.

This group of veteran volunteers also travels nearly 100 miles round trip to the Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake on the third Friday of each month to do all graveside ceremonies scheduled for that day, typically four to seven veteran interments.

A minimum of three honor guard members are required for the rifle salute, and some days, with multiple local funeral services for veterans, that can become a challenge. Although some of the most senior honor guard members aren’t physically able to participate now due to health issues, Post 154 has managed to honor veterans and be a blessing to their families as they say their final goodbyes to a loved one.

Today let’s thank these veterans for serving above and beyond. If you’re a veteran and have the desire to contribute your time to the honor guard, please do.

American Legion Post 154 Honor Guard Members: Al Ogram, Army-Korea era; Margaret Ogram, Air Force-Korea era; Bob Kernen, Navy Reserve-Korea era; Hal Donahue, Navy-Korea era; Lew Allert, Marines-Vietnam; Bryan Bledsoe, Army-Vietnam; Len Crosby, Army-Vietnam; Harold Markiewicz, Air Force-Vietnam; Dan Neese (AL Post 143), Air Force-Vietnam; Greg Munden (VFW), Navy-Vietnam; Kelly McMahan, Navy 1979-1982; Todd Halvorson, Air National Guard-Persian Gulf; Ken Johnson, Army-Persian Gulf; Jeff Broadhead, Air Force-Persian Gulf; and Roy Murdock, Army-Panama.

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Manuel Schneidmiller American Legion Post 154, N.W. Guardian Riders and the city of Rathdrum are hosting a Veterans Recognition Ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 5 at Shepherd of the Hills Church, 13541 W. Highway 53. The event is open to the public and free to attend. Doors open at 10 a.m., ceremony is at 11 a.m. and lunch will be served at noon.

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One of my favorite fundraisers is this Saturday, from 8-11 a.m. The Pleasantview Community Association's fall Cowboy Breakfast is a great opportunity to enjoy breakfast, including homemade biscuits, jam and honey butter, while benefiting the restoration and maintenance of the historic old school.

The school is a registered Idaho Historical site and a registered National Historical site. Tour the building and meet friends old and new. 18724 W. Riverview Drive, Post Falls. $10/person, family prices available.

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Happy birthday today to Alex Capaul, Mike Miller, Alan Zerba, Charity Thompson and Kathleen Lazor. Tomorrow Patty Harris (70!), Jill Jurvelin, Hara Allison, Karen Pearl, Tammy Bray, Darin Hanson, Helen Nuener, Jerry Mason, Tim Wark and Kelly Tuntland take another trip around the sun. On Friday Alan Wolfe, Annie Mote, Bryan Poland, Judy Jorgensen, Kirsten Donovan, Nancy White, Mic Armon, Julie Schmidt, twins Zachary and Ryan Englebrecht and Mitchell Copstead put on their party hats. On Saturday Betty Bray-Baker (90!), Laura Gray, Donna Hodgson, Marijo Guindon, Debbie Boe, Heather Clark, Ken Brandvold, Marci Anderson and Kim Wilhelm will blow out the candles. Anna Rolphe, Joe Lenon, Laura Gray, Kim Wilhelm and Ken Brandvold celebrate Sunday. On Nov. 7 Rocky Watson turns 77 and Jonesy Paul, Maggie Lyons, Tracy Akerman, John Williams, Mike Dornquast, Lauren Dornquast and Harold Howard will also be doing the birthday dance. Keith Allen, Joanne Wilhelm, Jens Jensen, Jeff Tucker and Aaron Birdsall take another trip around the sun on Tuesday.

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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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