Military flyover caps event honoring veterans

Boots, rifle, helmet, and dog tags – honoring fallen service members – were on display against the backdrop of a retired “Huey” Army MEDEVAC helicopter. Photo by Michael Gordon 

An Army helicopter flyover was part of the event to honor Veterans on Wednesday June 28, 2017 at Cypress Place Senior Living.  The senior community hosted a special “Salute To Our Veterans” celebration with a ceremony recognizing residents of Cypress Place, as well as members of the public, who served our country.  Over 250 people were estimated to have attended the powerful tribute.

The flyover was not listed in the program and was a surprise to those in attendance at the event according to Steve Spira, executive director of the senior community.  “We weren’t sure if the timing would work out, so we didn’t include it in the program,” said Spira.  “I actually had to a stall a little bit at the end of the ceremony, but it worked out perfectly and everyone loved it.”

A military Color Guard presentation by the 1st Memorial Honors Detail led off the ceremony,  followed by a special Veteran recognition and recognition of widows and widowers of Veterans.  Captain Chris Janke, Commanding Officer of Naval Base Ventura County, made the keynote presentation.  He attended along with several sailors from the base.  The sailors were able to meet the Veterans while enjoying lunch after the ceremony.

Veterans in attendance received decorative medals in honor of their service, as did widows of Veterans.  Veterans living at Cypress Place Senior Living also received Certificates of Recognition from the office of California State Assembly Member Jacqui Irwin.

Special words of thanks were offered during the ceremony by Mike McManus, Veteran Services Officer from the County of Ventura, as well as Ventura City Assistant Fire Chief Matt Brock, and Ventura Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Stephanie Caldwell.
TAPS was played, and a flag was folded and presented to 93 year-old Cypress Place resident and former United States Army Air Corps Sergeant, Richard Klock, on behalf of all Veterans in attendance.

A bouquet of flowers was presented to Cypress Place resident – and widow of a Veteran – Alice Smith, on behalf of all family members who have served.

A retired Bell UH-1 “Huey” MEDEVAC Army helicopter was on display provided by Scofield Catering and Management, along with a private war memorabilia collection by Tom Weaver, in addition to memorabilia from residents of the senior community.

A patriotic quilt, made by Lisa Gorski, the daughter of a current resident veteran of the senior community, was also given away.   Karen Jones of Ventura was the winner of the quilt.

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Ventura City Fire Training Chief Jack Hensen.  Paul Lenderman led the audience in the National Anthem.  Live musical entertainment and a free BBQ lunch followed the tribute.

To learn more about Cypress Place Senior Living of Ventura please call 650-8000 or visit their web site at

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