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Retired warrant officer gets Veterans Day salute in Jasper


JASPER —Due to inclement weather, this year's Veteran Day observance was moved from Bradley Park to the Jasper School gymnasium. Co-hosted by American Legion Post 93 and Auxiliary, the theme of the ceremony was "Honoring All Who Served: Duty, Honor, Country." The Newton County veteran randomly selected as the featured veteran for the event was Chief Warrant Officer (ret.) Kimberly D. Lore, of Jasper.
Pastor Jimmy Dale Huskey and Delaney Reddell, a Jasper High School student, opened the program by respectively delivering the invocation and singing the National Anthem. Post Commander Jim Pelz then reminded everyone of the origin of Veterans Day.
"On the eleventh hour of the 11th day of the 11th month the fighting of World War I ended in 1918. Due to the conclusion of the 'war to end all wars' November 11 became a universal and recognized day of celebration. The day was originally declared Armistice Day eight years after the end of World War I and honored only veterans of that war. Then, in 1954 after World War II and the Korean War, it was renamed Veterans Day to honor all veterans who served America in war and defended our republic," Pelz said.
Deana Bess, wearing her uniform as chief petty officer, asked all veterans in attendance to stand and be recognized. "We honor all of you," she said.
"You unselfishly placed your lives on the line for our freedom. Maybe you were ordinary people before, and then you answered the call of duty. You left your families, your homes and your lives, not for recognition or fame, nor for the honors we bestow on you today. You served to protect our country. You served to protect our way of life. Thank you," she said. "As we honor you today let us also be grateful for those who are currently serving to protect our country."
Post Adjutant Bill Hemmer said, "So many recent events have helped all of us realize how truly unique the American way of life is. The freedom we enjoy is extremely special and that is why we must defend it. Now is the time not only to honor those who have fought, or are fighting for our freedom, it is also the time for each of us to take part in protecting it.
"The defense of freedom is not just for those in the military," continued post member Jenni Olsen. "Each of us share that duty, and that responsibility. We don't have to join the Army or the Navy or any other organization of defense to actively defend our way of life. We can protect our freedom simply by maintaining it here in America. If we want to preserve our freedoms we must put them into action, for example: By holding our elected officials accountable, running for office, serving on local committees or boards, by voting wisely in elections, or speaking out against agendas that threaten our way of life and our Constitution," she concluded.
Shawn Bess, attired in his uniform as chief petty officer, followed with these comments on ensuring the benefits of freedom for everyone; by volunteering in the community, teaching our children about the founding of America, its true history and about the Constitution. Then, there are days like Veterans Day that honor those who serve and remind Americans that freedom is not free. Thank you for honoring our veterans, today. Let's walk towards tomorrow still honoring them by living in the freedom they protected, he said.

He then announced the selection of Lore by the post for Veterans Day honors on behalf of all veterans.
Deana Bess gave the formal introduction. Lore was born in San Antonio, Texas, to an Air Force family. Lore graduated high school in Shreveport, Louisiana, and attended LSU Medical Center where she completed her registered nursing certificate. Lore also holds degrees and licenses in herbology, essential oils, and holistic medicine. Lore began her career with the US Coast Guard in 1985. While on active duty, she served in a variety of positions: Decedent Affairs Officer in multiple locations, as the American Indian Representative to the Commandant of the Coast Guard in Seattle, Washington and Washington DC; Administrator for the Coast Guard Standard Operating Procedures Manual in Seattle, Washington; Instructor at the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer’s Academy, Petaluma, California; Inspection Officer for Foreign Vessels, Honolulu, Hawaii; Division Officer for Disciplinary cases for discharge, Alameda,California; Recruit Personnel Processing, New Jersey; Officer of Human Resources, Massachusetts; House Hold Goods Transportation Officer, Astoria, Oregon and Command Chief, CG Region Eighth District, Galveston, Texas. She retired in July, 2006, and currently lives with her husband in Jasper.
Serving as a chief is a great honor said Deana Bess in welcoming Lore to the podium. At the time we served there weren't as many women in this role. "I am so honored and so blessed to have a fellow chief like you living in our small community," as the follow veterans embraced.
Lore said she was first introduced to veterans when she was in the fourth grade. She entered a poster contest at her school that was sponsored by the local VFW post. She won an honorable mention certificate. I am not an artist, but they liked my message, she related. She said she learned how deeply veterans gave to the country, and to us all. She said the certificate still hangs proudly on the wall at the family's home.
"I am grateful to all who went before me and paved the way for all of us that followed. Your paths are clear for us to walk in honor, integrity and pride for our country. I thank you all for your guidance. and if no one ever told you, welcome home and we all love you,"Lore said.
Bringing the ceremony to a close was the passing of a folded flag along a detail of veterans including post members Mark Rocha, Ray Watkins and Don Simpkins. The flag was finally received by Lore to secure. Newton County Veterans Service Officer Gary Lamb presented her with a certificate received from US Sen. John Boozman's office that declared the flag had flown over the nation's Capitol.
The veterans and guests then adjourned to the American Legion Hut nearby where a lunch was served and a reception was held for Lore.