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5/18/2017 Memorial Day 2017: Retired Air Force general to honor veterans during formal ceremony
The Valley’s busy summer tourist season will get a proper launch over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. The annual Memorial Day parade will be held along Main Street in Westcliffe on Saturday, May 27, beginning at 10 a.m. Then, the more formal Memorial Day observation will be held on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29. The American Legion Post 170, Auxiliary Unit 170 and Sons of The American Legion Squadron 170 will present the 13th annual Memorial Day Observance at Silver Cliff Commemorative and Community Park in Silver Cliff from 10 to 11 a.m. The public is invited to attend this special occasion. This year’s observance includes a tribute to all veterans who have served our country, who are currently serving in the Armed Forces and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their Country. The keynote speaker will be Major General Irving Halter, USAF(Ret). Ceremonies at this year’s observance offer introduction, recognition and thanks to all veterans. Taps will be played and the Honor Guard will offer a three volley rifle salute followed by folding and placement of the flag. The National Anthem and “Mansions of the Lord” will be presented by Don Paul, Ellen Paul, Don Pinnela, Guy Madden, Karen Madden, Toni Lang, Jane Pemberton and Greg Kuhn. Following the ceremonies, refreshments will be served by Auxiliary Unit 170. In the event of inclement weather, this event will be held at Custer County School in the east gym. For information please contact Post 170 Public Information Officer Bob Dreher at 719/783-2462 or email at robertedreher1@gmail.com. The featured speaker, Maj. Gen. Irving L. Halter Jr., graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1977. He served in eight fighter units, including tours in the Pacific, Europe and the United States. He has commanded an operational fighter squadron, an operations group, and a fighter wing. The general also served as the deputy US VII Corps air liaison officer in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm; F-15C Detachment Commander, Operation Provide Comfort, flying combat missions over Northern Iraq; and Director, Air Component Coordination Element, Combined Joint Task Force 180, Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom. General Halter is a rated command pilot with more than 3,200 flying hours, including more than 2,200 in the F-15, including 180 combat hours. Aircraft he has flown include the F-15A/B/C/D/E, RF-4C, KC-135 and T-38C. General Halter's senior staff assignments include Chief, Combat Forces Division, Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Programs, Hq. U.S. Air Force; Deputy Director for Military Support, National Reconnaissance Office; and Vice Superintendent, U.S. Air Force Academy. He was promoted to Major General on 16 Feb 2006. General Halter’s major awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters and the Air Force Achievement Medal. Other achievements include the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement, National Reconnaissance Office Medal of Distinguished Performance (Gold Medal) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Medallion for Excellence.