The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Veterans honored across area


November 10, 2017

Jamie Cushman

Clovis Christian Schools fourth-grader Carter Knight salutes during a ceremony to honor veterans on Thursday. Knight placed the hat of his mother - Senior Master Sgt. Shakia Knight, who is deployed in Africa - on the table to recognize those currently serving.

Veterans from across Roosevelt County, including a 97-year-old who served in World War II, received a warm welcome from Floyd's elementary students Thursday morning.

Each student thanked veterans for their service as they read from a presentation about the sacrifices made by the armed forces.

"Today we are honored to have veterans among us, and many of you in this audience may have friends and family that have served or are currently serving in the armed forces right now," said 8-year-old Arturo Cano.

The gathering was one of many across the region this week as the nation honors veterans.

Over 50 people, many of them veterans, attended the annual veterans breakfast at Baxter-Curren Activity Center in Clovis on Thursday morning. Clovis Christian Schools and Clovis Community College also honored veterans on Thursday.

A Saturday morning parade - set for 10 a.m. on Clovis' Main Street - is scheduled to highlight the week's events.

One of Floyd's guests on Thursday was Allen Partin, 97, of Portales, who was presented with a certificate.

"Thank you, Mr. Partin. We are all inspired by your service to our country," said 9-year-old Monze Navarro.

Partin recalled his service humbly.

"It's great," he said of the honor, "but I didn't do nothing somebody else wouldn't do. You just did what you were told, and that's what we had to do."

He said events like this one are important because veterans "took a chance with their lives. The ones that didn't go over didn't take a chance."

The students also presented their guests with a series of patriotic songs, as well as a slideshow recognizing local veterans.

Addison Dominguez, 8, expressed gratitude to veterans on behalf of her peers.

"The price of freedom is high. We cannot afford to forget those willing to pay it. Today, we celebrate America's veterans for keeping this nation 'the land of the free and the home of the brave.'"

Richard Shovelin of Mountainair, a Marine from the Vietnam era, was struck by the deep appreciation the students expressed for veterans, a far cry from when he was serving in the marines during the Vietnam War.

"I can't walk anywhere without somebody thanking me for my service. It just wasn't that way in the '70s. I feel so glad to come here and see something like this," he said.

An appreciation for the military is important for young children, according to Shovelin.

"I think the kids need to grow up shown that the military's not bad, and we're there to do a job, if they'll let us," he said.

At Baxter-Curren in Clovis, veterans were happy to have an event just to celebrate their service, and of course the free meal that came along with it.

Ronnie Warmuth, a veteran of the Air Force who fought in Saigon during the Vietnam War, said, "This is fantastic. It really is. They've done a super job. It needs to be done with our society nowadays, and we appreciate it."

Program Coordinator Brenda Hankins said the breakfast is meant to be just a small way to give back to those who gave so much.

"I just like to do something that says thank you, because there's no way I could ever repay them if I tried," Hankins said.

Staff writer Jamie Cushman contributed to this report.


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