Decorated veteran delivers address at special dinner

American Legion Post 29 in Elkins hosted their 94th annual Veterans Day Dinner Friday, celebrating the service of veterans from all branches of the military.

Post 29 Commander Tom Domingo served as master of ceremonies for the evening which included food, acknowledgments of veterans, a tribute to POW/MIA soldiers and a speech by Roger Ware, commandant of the Marine Corps League for the Department of West Virginia, and commandant of Leland D. “Crow” Crawford Detachment 956 of Elkins.

“I learned history from the soldiers I served with,” Ware said in his address to the crowd. “These guys never starred in any movies but they made the stories for many. They left footprints all over the world. They fought in places that we can’t even pronounce and that teachers use those names to create history.

“They could have chosen something self-serving but instead chose to serve something bigger than themselves,” Ware added.

Ware is a past commander of the American Legion Post 29 in Elkins and a Marine Corps League national staff officer, where he serves as adjutant for the Mideast Division. His military decorations include a Bronze Star with combat “V,” three Purple Hearts, two Meritorious Service Medals, three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, and numerous other service and campaign awards. He holds qualifications as a Naval Service Warfare Officer (Medical), a Naval Parachutist and a Naval Air Crewman and Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist.

The event began with the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. The Boy Scouts of America Troop 66 of Elkins acted as flag bearers and servers for the evening. Each branch of the military was represented with the brandishing of their respective flags and the playing of each fight song, including those of the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Air Force, the Coast Guard and the Merchant Marines.

Domingo also led those in attendance in the POW/MIA Table Ceremony, which was followed by a moment of silence for prisoners of war who have been lost or those who were missing in action and have never returned home.

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