Branch of Service Week: Marine Corps Day

Lee Mullinix takes control of the helicopter while Jared Sisk holds a flag out the side of the helicopter. The pair switches roles when the helicopter passes the other way. The fly-over was part of Marine Day on Nov. 5.

WARRENSBURG —The Missouri Veterans Home — Warrensburg veterans were geared up for the 100th anniversary of Veterans Day on Monday, Nov. 11, after a week of celebration took place a week prior.

Latisha Koetting, Missouri Veterans Home — Warrensburg supervisor of volunteer services, said she knew she could not fit 100 years of service recognition into a one-hour program.

Therefore, she crafted a Branch of Service Week.

The week ran Monday, Nov. 4, through Saturday, Nov. 9.

Monday, Nov. 4 — Army Day

Cadences filled the back courtyard of the Missouri Veterans Home — Warrensburg on Monday morning, Nov. 4.

The University of Central Missouri ROTC hosted its PT in the back courtyard in correspondence with Army Day to help kickoff the MVHW’s Branch of Service Week.

From Monday through Saturday, Nov. 9, the MVHW celebrated a different branch/aspect of the military in honor of the 100th anniversary of Veterans Day on Monday, Nov. 11.

Army Day was just the start of a busy week at the MVHW.

After the PT, members of the ROTC met with the veterans in the home, including the ones that watched from inside the building as they conducted their routine.

The Johnson County Cattlemen’s Association treated the veterans for lunch by preparing steak.

Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Chapter 4-6 assisted with the steak cutting and hosted a bike show.

In the chapel, the Johnson County Historical Society and the Missouri Military Museum had exhibits set up for viewing.

Those two were static displays for throughout the week.

The 1251st Transportation Company from Harrisonville also brought a static display for the day.

The day ended with tunes sung by the Morton Sisters.

Veterans also got to enjoy a day of bingo to start off the Branch of Service Week.

Tuesday, Nov. 5 — Marine Corps Day

It just isn’t a birthday without some cake, at least that is how it was for Marine Corps veterans Tuesday, Nov. 5, at the Missouri Veterans Home — Warrensburg.

The home’s Branch of Service Week carried on as it celebrated the 244th birthday of the Marine Corps on Marine Corps Day.

The Marine Corps birthday is Sunday, Nov. 10, one day before the 100th anniversary of Veterans Day on Monday, Nov. 11.

The day started with breakfast and a helicopter fly-over and ended with cake.

Nerd’s Hardware began serving the veterans breakfast about 5:30 a.m.

After breakfast, Jared Sisk and Lee and Sharon Mullinix kept the celebration going with a helicopter fly-over about 8:45 a.m.

The helicopter landed just outside the back courtyard of the MVHW as the crew got to visit with the veterans that filled the back courtyard to watch.

Sisk and Lee Mullinix took turns controlling the plane while the other held out an American flag that blew in the wind as the crew made its pass.

Sisk presented Koetting, MVHW supervisor of volunteer services, with the flag used during the fly-over.

Once the helicopter left, the veterans moved inside to hear gospel and western music from Al Block and Friends.

When the music ended for the morning, the veterans at the MVHW then got and opportunity to hear a presentation on the FOCUS Marines Foundation followed by a presentation on Code Talkers.

The music got rolling again in the early afternoon with Big Band 30s and 40s music from Ziggy and Friends.

A special appearance from a Marine Corps jeep added to the afternoon of excitement.

The day closed with a Marine Corps birthday video, the presentation of a flag flown on Sept. 11, 2019, at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, the singing of the Marine Corps song and the cutting of birthday cake to celebrate 244 years of the Marine Corps.

Wednesday, Nov. 6 — Navy Day

The Old Paths Boys performance on Wednesday, Nov. 6, marked the midway point of the Branch of Service Week at the Missouri Veterans Home — Warrensburg.

Wednesday was Navy Day at the MVHW.

The day got started with a viewing of “The Last Signal” documentary which featured a veteran at the MVHW.

By the time the documentary finished, the United States Submarine Veterans Topeka-Jefferson City Base was set up out in front of the home with its submarine float along with a replica submarine, submarine information and plaques.

When 10 a.m. rolled around though, it was game time in the cafeteria as a game of Family Feud broke out.

Those that did not want to participate in the rendition of the game show had the opportunity to hear a flag presentation from the Patriots Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.

The day was rounded out with a concert by the Old Paths Boys.

The group performed gospel and bluegrass music.

Thursday, Nov. 7 — Air Force Day

Multiple Air Force bases convened Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Missouri Veterans Home — Warrensburg to celebrate Air Force Day as part of the Branch of Service Week.

Six senior from the TRIAD AFJROTC helped get the morning started by making breakfast for the veterans and staff members of the MVHW.

The back courtyard of the home was the place to be once again Thursday morning as Columbus Air Force Base flew T-6 aircraft to the home for a fly-over.

The chapel once again saw new displays on Thursday as the Henry County Historical Society brought and exhibit, Air Force uniforms were on display and Lee’s Summit North senior Seth Cooper came back for a second time during the week to display his Air Force and Air Corps uniform collection.

Cooper presented a display of Marine Corps uniforms earlier in the week.

He said he collected Air Force uniforms before finding a passion in researching the Pacific Theater, specifically the Army and Marine Corps.

There was no lack of food for lunch on Thursday at the MVHW as members from Whiteman Air Force Base provided a seven-table spread carry-in lunch.

The Airlifter Brass Ensemble got a busy afternoon at the home started with a performance at 2 p.m.

After the ensemble concluded, Whiteman took over for the rest of the afternoon.

Members from Whiteman provided a Taser demonstration and a military working dog demonstration for the veterans.

Two airmen first class had the privilege of demonstrating the effects of the Taser while Gucci, a Whiteman military dog, performed a bite exercise.

Gucci had trouble getting her footing on the cafeteria floor but still executed the bite.

The staff at the MVHW noticed how much the veterans enjoyed the demonstration that they allowed the demonstration to take place in the back courtyard.

The veterans watched from inside while Gucci took advantage of the outdoor surface and launched for the bite.

The veterans asked lots of questions and told stories of their interactions with military dogs.

After the demonstrations, the day ended with Coffee and Cookies with B-2 pilots and Air Force bingo as the night cap.

Friday, Nov. 8 — Coast Guard Day

The Branch of Service Week carried on Friday, Nov. 8, at the Missouri Veterans Home — Warrensburg with Coast Guard Day.

This was the fifth of six days in the week of celebration.

Former USO entertainer, Gary Ellison, Springfield, got the morning started with a performance on the piano.

The University of Central Missouri Airport Managers Association kept the day going strong by serving lunch.

Veterans had the opportunity to build their own submarine sandwiches.

After a couple hours of rest, Larry Ryan, president of the U.S. Coast Guard Lightship Sailors Association, got the afternoon portion of the day started with a presentation.

He discussed the role of the U.S. Coast Guard and how its role has changed over time.

Terry Neal dressed in his Coast Guard uniform for the presentation.

The fifth day of the celebration closed out with Coast Guard Happy Hour and music from Blue Stem.

Saturday, Nov. 9 — Women in Service Day

A message of hope and encouragement was spread throughout the Missouri Veterans Home — Warrensburg on Saturday, Nov. 9, during Women in Service Day as the Branch of Service Week concluded.

Leah Winchester gave two presentations about her grandmother, Naomi Parker Frayley, whom Rosie the Riveter was based off of.

Her presentation focused on a letter her grandmother wrote in 2016 as an encouragement to future generations.

Before her presentation though, members of the Sarah Lewis Boone and Independence Pioneers chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution spoke to the women veterans at the home, presented them and all veterans at the home with a gift and hosted a sing-a-long which featured the songs for each branch of service.

Between presentations from Winchester, the Harley Owners Group out of Sedalia cooked burgers and brats for the veterans at the home and a Buddy Poppy Paint and Sip took place.

While everyone got recognized throughout the week, the eight women veterans in the home capped off the week with a day of celebration for their contributions through their service.

Those eight at the MVHW were not the only women veterans celebrated through as other women veterans came from throughout Warrensburg, the state and even from outside the state to celebrate the day.

Managing Editor of Digital Publishing Derek Brizendine can be reached by emailing derek.brizendine@dsjnow.com, by calling (660) 747-8123 or on Twitter at @DerekBrizendine.

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