During this year's Loyalty Day Ceremony on Saturday, Clay County veterans will be honored for their service to their country, something that doesn't happen often enough one veteran says.
"They just don't get the recognition they deserve," Loyalty Day Coordinator Les Walden said.
Walden has been involved in previous ceremonies recoginizing veterans and said he once honored a serviceman who asked to speak to the crowd for a minute.
When the serviceman approached the microphone, he informed everyone this was the first "thank you" he had received although his service ended 40 years earlier.
The man was grateful, but as Walden says veterans often aren't recognized as they should be.
Col. Jeffrey W. Hauser, Commander of 181st Fighter Wing of the Indiana Air Guard unit stationed at Hulman Field, will be the guest speaker at the 10 a.m. event at the Forest Park Pavillion.
Hauser, a senior pilot with more than 2,000 flight hours experience with the T-37, T-38, F-4, and the F-16 aircraft, is a Clay County resident who has served with the 181st Fighter Wing in many capacities before being named Commander on Dec. 6, 2003.
Special certificates of appreciation will be presented to all veterans in attendance who have served on active duty since World War II through those serving today. Attending veterans will also be eligible for door prize drawings of Loyalty Day Hats & Shirts plus the Grand Prize of a TV set donated by Shaw Electronics.
Walden called the upcoming ceremony "a big achievement."
After the ceremony the Brazil Elks Lodge No. 762 will serve a free pork chop dinner with all the trimmings to veterans and their families in attendance.
In order to make all this happen, all eligible veterans from World War II through present service who are going to attend are asked to sign up with their name and the number of guests who will attend.
"It's a big thing for the veterans," Walden said. "They do enjoy it."
Veterans can contact the Clay County Veterans Office by phone at 448-9015 or sign-up in person at the Brazil Armory, VFW Posts or American Legion Posts. This allows the Elks Lodge to prepare the correct order for pork chops needed to feed the guests.
At 2 p.m, the public is invited to enjoy the Loyalty Day Parade in downtown Brazil sponsored by the local VFW Post and VFW District 7. This year's theme is "Honor the Veterans" with parade line-up at 1 p.m.
Trophies will be presented to the parade winners at the VFW Post No. 1127, 103 E. Jackson St., at 4 p.m. by VFW Commander Jim Cassidy.
The Clay County Veterans Group, Brazil Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 1127, Clay City Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 6606, American Legion Posts No. 2 in Brazil, Post No. 225 in Clay City and the Disabled American Veterans of Clay County and many local businesses have supported this year's Loyalty Day program.