A packed session of Coffee4vets May 8 covered accounts of service ranging from World War II to Vietnam.
Los Angeles Sheriffs Deputy Ray Wilson told of how the leaders and fighter pilots of the Tuskegee Airmen fought and beat prejudice during World War II, along with defeating the Nazis of the Third Reich.
During his talk, Wilson recounted how a white officer, Army Air Corps Col. Noel Parrish put his career on the line to support the pilots of the Tuskegee all-African-American fighter unit that distinguished itself years before President Harry Truman’s order to desegregate the armed forces.
First Lt. Myron Wilson, who lived in the Antelope Valley, flew with the Tuskegee pilots, known as the “Red Tails,” who racked up the most successful fighter escort record in the war. Parrish, like the unit’s African-American Commander, Benjamin O. Davis, retired as a brigadier general.
Vietnam Memorial Wall
The Antelope Valley Mobile Vietnam Memorial, the A.V. Wall, will present at Phelan Community Park for the Memorial Day period. The half-scale tribute to the Vietnam Memorial will be on display from May 25-29, and be taken down at 8 a.m., May 29. Volunteers are needed, said Vietnam veteran Michael Bertell, president Of Point Man, Antelope Valley. For more information see www.avwall.org.
On May 25, veterans of the U.S. armed services will be recognized at the Ellison John Transitional Care Center. In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, Vietnam-era veterans will be pinned, said Misty Montagna, who is coordinating the event at 43830 10th Street West in Lancaster, site of the former Lancaster Commission Hospital. All veterans are welcome, and there will be entertainment and refreshments after the 10 a.m. ceremonies, including the National Guard Band Of the Golden West.
Vets home barbecue
On May 28, Memorial Day, volunteers from Coffee4vets will host a barbecue for residents of the William J.”Pete” Knight Veterans Home, said Terry Wagner, a Marine Sgt. During the Vietnam War. Pork and beef ribs with all trimmings are on the menu.
If interested in volunteering or just having coffee with friends from service days, come to Coffee4vets 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., Tuesdays at Crazy Otto’s restaurant on Avenue I in Lancaster where the coffee is free and menu for veterans and guests is half price.