Veterans recognized at pin ceremony

Krystle Wagner • Nov 6, 2018 at 11:00 AM

SPRING LAKE TWP. — One-by-one, some local veterans received recognition Monday afternoon.

Members from the American Legion Charles A. Conklin Post 28 and VFW Sgt. Alvin Jonker Post 2326 recognized more than a dozen North Ottawa Care Center residents, employees and family members during a pinning ceremony at Heartwood Lodge in Spring Lake Township.

Some of the individuals honored were Pete Cortez, James Ryan, Waynard "Bud" Ickes, Robert Kelley, Naomi "Sue" Arthur, Ronald Burmeister, Arthur Buday, Jimmie Rhoades and Robert Snoek. They each received a pin and certificate.

Post 28 Cmdr. John Bilski said it was an honor and privilege to honor his fellow comrades.

A flag ceremony was also conducted as Post 28 1st Vice Cmdr. Janet Fonger talked about the significance behind each of the flag’s folds. A ceremony was then performed to honor military members whose lives were lost.

Cortez served eight years in the U.S. Air Force. His daughter, Rita Oliver, was among the family members present at the ceremony who also received a special recognition. Oliver served six years in the U.S. Navy.

Cortez’s wife, Lupe, received a rose along with the other women whose husbands served in the military.

Lupe Cortez, a Spring Lake Township resident, said she thought the ceremony was a wonderful idea for veterans to be honored.

“It was very moving for us,” she said.

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