Six years ago I was told by a visitor to our community they were disappointed in the size, in the types of attendees, in general, just about everything about our Thank You Vets parade which we hold annually on traditional Veterans' Day, 11/11 @ 11 a.m. to honor and thank our active service women and men and all veteransof our lower valley.I explained to the visitor the patriotic parade was, at the time, the newest tradition in our community and it takes time and vigilance to grow a quality event.I sure wish that same visitor had been a guest watching our 9th and 10th Annual parades!
We had a record crowd in 2013 and a patriotic, loyal group this past Tuesday who withstood the first Arctic blast of the year to cheer on our vets or be in the parade and boy, was it cold out there!
Thanks to all local businesses which provided a perk or discount to our veterans this year. These are significant ways we as a community can express our thanks and let our veterans and their families know we understand and remember their untold sacrifices. Also to be thanked are: the Record-Bulletin staff for their unparalleled support in all ways since parade one; Humberto with the Prosser Chamber, Pat McCullough and the Explorers, the Prosser Memorial Foundation and the excellent Kiwanis chefs for breakfast; primary sponsor: Sheffield Manor Retirement and Assisted Living, Prosser Sun Terrace, VFW early bird flag crew, Prosser School District, Prosser Police and Public Works Depts., the lower Valley Color Guard, Miss Prosser Court, candidates and Little Miss Prosser royalty, our lower valley home schooling contingent who unfailingly arrive with handshakes and cookies.
BIG thanks to: Ty Yule, James R. Brumley, Lex Aggeler, Bryce Conklin for your years of help behind the scenes. Yes, we are a patriotic community and region. I had no doubt, none, when we decided to form a Veterans'Day parade
a decade ago. Next year should be something else, can't wait!
As a member of the American Legion, I receive their monthly newspaper, The Legionnaire. In this month's issue is an article titled Law & Order Awards. It features people, in uniform, such as a Deputy Sheriff and a Firefighter. Reading this article caused me to pause and reflect on conversations I had, with my children, as they were growing up.
For many of us, there is a tendency to be a bit reserved around men and women, in uniform, such as law officers. I told my kids to consider them as people who were there to help and to protect them. They are not people of whom you should be afraid. When there is a serious problem, who do you call? The cops, that's who. When we need to call 911, an officer will be there to help just as soon as possible. Fortunately, my kids were never intimidated by a policeman. Perhaps it was their respect for authority.
No doubt, the shows on TV and in theaters, featuring a big, tough cop, glaring from behind mirrored sunglasses presents an image contrary to that of which most officers would like to project. ....and that's fair because in most cases it is not correct!
We, in Prosser, are so fortunate to have a professional and dedicated police force. I have had two encounters, with our finest, recently. A couple of months ago, I came home to find Sgt. John Markus looking around and peering into my shop. When I pulled into the driveway, he greeted me and told me that when he saw the door to the shop open, something just didn't look right. Indeed, I never leave my shop door open. Sgt. Markus, I'm going to call him John, did not have to do that. By his own volition he watched out for me. He could just as easily have kept right on driving. John is a friend and cares about his job and the citizens of the city of Prosser.
A couple of weeks ago, I was pulled over by Officer M. Shanafelt. He did so because of, what he said was improper lane usage, on my part. I had turned right, as I have done for over 55 years of driving, in Prosser, from what I thought was a traffic lane. He was very polite, greeted me and educated me, all with a smile and urged me to drive safely.
Yes, we are fortunate because our police officers shop at the same grocery stores and eat at the same restaurants as we do. They go to the same churches as we do and bury their loved ones in the same cemetery as the rest of us. Long time Prosser Police Chief Mel Walker lies right next to my mom and dad. They are our friends and neighbors. What they do not do is set up speed traps and lurk behind billboards, just hoping to snare another victim and then be on their way. That may happen in some places but it does not happen in our home town.
I would like to suggest that the next time you see one of the cars from our police department go by, that you look at them and smile. Maybe even wave. They have our best interest at heart. We can be proud of them and are lucky to have them.
Igreatly appreciate Hall Chevroletloan of the Van to set out Collection Boxes and to use on the Veterans Day Parade. We thank all who bravethe cold to come show their support and appreciation. It is those Veterans who have stepped forward to help the need in our community through the Toys-for-Tots program and we are asking for your generous help.
Collection Boxes have been set-up atHall Chevrolet, Benton County Court House, American West Bank, Yakima FirstFederal Saving & Loan, US Bank, Becky's Koffee Korner, Monkey Business, True-Value Hardware Store& Ford Motors Company. Collection Jar were placed at; Jeremy's Public House Eatery & Pub, Ralph's Barber Shop, Café Villa and Edward Jones Office Toys-for-Tots Prosser Headquarters.
During my absence; contact David Bantam at Ralph's Barber Shop or Deb Carter through the Marine Corps Detachment 377 webpage.
Prosser / Whitstran