Veterans Day events set

Veterans Day is approaching, and with it comes a variety of events around Custer County to honor those who served the United States through military service.
As always, the centerpiece of the day will be the annual Veterans Day program put on by Custer School District next Monday, Nov. 11, at 2 p.m. at the Armory. This year marks the 25th annual ceremony.
The program is run by the students of Custer High School under the direction of Sandy Arseneault. It consists of a flag posting by the local Civil Air Patrol, patriotic songs performed by all ages of school children, a performance by the Custer High School band and choir, a POW/MIA ceremony, remembrance of deceased veterans from the past year, individual recognition of each veteran in attendance by Custer Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and sixth graders and the retirement of the flag by the Civil Air Patrol.
Guest speaker at this year’s program is Kevin Morello, state American Legion vice commander for areas one and two.
Morello grew up in Cypress, Calif., and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1985 as an administrative specialist. After spending a short tour in Korea and while stationed at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, he was honorably discharged at the rank of sergeant under the Airman Scholarship and Commissioning Program to attend Montana State University to study computer science.
Upon graduation and commissioning as a distinguished graduate, Morello re-entered the Air Force as a second lieutenant with his first assignment at Edwards Air Force Base in California participating in the operational test and evaluation of the new C-17 aircraft. From there he was assigned to Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts as a test and program manager for the Combat Air Forces Command and Control Program Office.
After that he was assigned to Patrick Air Force in Florida to help field a major telecommunication upgrade to Cape Canaveral in support of military, commercial and NASA space flight operations. From there, he and his family moved to Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico to the 705th Exercise Control Squadron as director of operations and maintenance for the Distributed Mission Operations Center, responsible for the daily operations of the most advanced command and control simulation facility.
From there, he was assigned to NATO in Brunnsum, Netherlands, as a program manager for a major computer modernization effort in support of the NATO Airborne Warning and Control System. Upon retiring from the Air Force with over 20 years of service at the rank of major, he and his family moved to Black Hawk, where he works as a lifecycle manager with the Office of Information and Technology, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Morello has been married to Debra from Billings, Mont., for over 25 years and they have one son and one daughter.
Custer County Democrats and Republicans will once again host a social with snacks for the veterans, also at the Armory. This event will immediately follow the program at the school. The social provides veterans a time to relax, chat and share stories.
The Hermosa School will honor veterans  in conjunction with Hermosa American Legion Post No. 303 Nov. 11. At 7:45 a.m. a ceremony will take place outside the school in front of the flagpole.
The day will continue with veterans visiting Hermosa School students in their classrooms followed by a moment of silence and a POW/MIA ceremony at 11:11 a.m. A Veterans Day program at the Hermosa School will take place at 2:15 p.m., followed by a Heroes Reception at 3:15 p.m. The day will wind down with a soup and chili feed at 5 p.m. at the Hermosa American Legion’s post home.
Custer School District students may invite veterans to join them for lunch on Monday, Nov. 11. Lunch includes roast turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and  pumpkin bar. Lunchtime Solutions will provide the meals for the veterans who attend. Other guests may attend for $3.72. Those who plan to attend are asked to notify the shcool at 673-4473 by Monday, Nov. 4. Lunch times for each class may be obtained by calling the same number.
New this year, beginning mid-week, are Hometown Heroes Banners flying in downtown Custer. The banners depict local military servicemen and women.
At 11:11 a.m., there will be a special ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park in Custer, and Cub Scouts will once again visit veterans at Custer Senior Care at 4:30 p.m. A potluck for veterans will take place at noon at Custer VFW.
Elk Mountain School District will also honor veterans with a Veterans Day program at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at Elk Mountain School.

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