By Jan Rahn
When: Nov. 11
Time: 10:30 a.m. MST
Program: Perkins County High School
Free bean feed at
Legion Hall in Grant
When: Nov. 11
Time: 8:30 a.m. CST
Program: Wallace School
Coffee and rolls
for veterans and spouses
American Legions and Auxiliaries along the Highline will take part in the 57th Veterans Day observance on Monday in Grant.
Hosting this year’s tribute to Perkins County veterans is Elsie Post 206.
Wallace School will hold a program for veterans, guests and the student body hosted by the American Legion Post and Auxiliary Unit 213.
The national day of observance on Nov. 11 gives communities across the nation a chance to pay tribute to America’s veterans with speakers, recognition and food.
A program will be held beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the high school, 740 Sherman.
After posting of colors by the color guard, Pastor Russ Gaar of Grant Evangelical Free Church will deliver the invocation.
The high school band, under the direction of Brian Erickson, will provide musical selections and Perkins County American Legion Commander Glen Stanek will give the welcoming address.
Stanek will also introduce county post commanders and read the deceased veterans roll during the program.
Introduction of the 2013 Boys and Girls Staters will be given by Katy Miyamoto of the Madrid Auxiliary Unit.
The guest speaker of this year’s observance is Chief Warrant Officer 5 Eugene H. Coppersmith.
Following the program, the public is invited to a free ham and bean feed at the American Legion Hall at 3rd and Washington sponsored by the county legion posts of Elsie, Madrid, Grant and Venango, with beans donated by Trinidad Bean Co.
Speaker CW5 Coppersmith
This year’s featured speaker for the Veterans Day observance is Chief Warrant Officer 5 Gene Coppersmith of Lincoln who is an active member of the Nebraska Army National Guard, son of Louis and Virginia Coppersmith of Elsie.
Coppersmith serves as commander of Operational Support Detachment 43.
The 1972 Wallace High School graduate joined the U.S. Army in June 1977 while working for Nebraska Public Power District in Bellevue.
His wife, Sherry (Strawder), is from Wallace.
Coppersmith took basic training in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and completed the Army Rotor Wing Aviator program in Fort Rucker, Ala., transitioned into the Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter and was assigned to the 155th Aviation Regiment in Fort Ord, Calif.
While there, Coppersmith and seven others from his unit were selected to be the first Army aviators to be trained to fly the pre-production Hughes YAH-64 Apache advanced attack helicopter. This culminated in a successful field test and paved the way for the eventual production and fielding of the Apache helicopter for the U.S. Army.
Coppersmith left the regular Army in 1982 and moved to Lincoln where he joined the Nebraska Army National Guard as a part-time UH-1 Huey Medevac pilot. Upon graduation from Southeast Community College in Milford, he accepted full-time employment with the National Guard in 1985.
During his 30-plus years with the Guard, Coppersmith has served as an instructor pilot, instrument flight examiner, maintenance test pilot, night vision goggle instructor pilot conracting officers representative, aviation safety officer and commander of the fixed wing detachment.
He has flown in support of Southern Command in South America and has served two tours in Afghanistan, returning from his latest deployment in March 2013.
Coppersmith looks forward to retiring in December with just over 10,000 military flight hours, 850 of which are combat time.
His military awards include two Army Air medals awarded while flying in Afghanistan.
The Veterans Day program Monday in Wallace will be hosted by American Legion Post and Auxiliary Unit 213 at the school.
The program will begin at 8:30 a.m. CST in the gym.
The band, the choir and the elementary students will perform separately under the direction of music instructor LaDonna Swedberg.
Voice of Democracy speaker will be sophomore Collin Swedberg.
As an annual tradition, flag etiquette booklets will be presented to the sixth graders by Bonnie Erickson, chaplain of the auxiliary, who will speak on “Celebrating Veterans.”
Coffee and cinnamon rolls will be provided for the veterans and their wives following the program.