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Saluting Our Young Veterans

Nov 3, 2013
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Photo by Lt. j.g. Matthew Stroup/DoD

Once again, it is time to honor and thank the men and women who serve and have served in the armed forces. Pasadena’s salute in Centennial Square at City Hall on Monday, November 11th, includes the PCC Pep Band and a fly over by Condor Squadron.

The Condor Squadron is actually the Condor Squadron Officer’s and Airmen’s Association. At the end of WWII, many of the planes were taken by the National Guard for training purposes. In 1965, Richard T. “Dick” Sykes (1924-2008) and another member of the 146th Fighter Group created the Condor Squadron as a search and rescue unit of the Civil Air Patrol. They fly WWII North American AT-6 airplanes, “preserving a piece of aviation history that played an important part in securing the freedoms we cherish as a nation,” and maintain museums at the Van Nuys airport and the Portal of The Folded Wings Shrine to Aviation at the Valhalla Cemetery in Burbank.

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Condor Squadron (founder Dick Sykes, middle)

This year, the youngest and newest veterans who have served during the “Long Wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan will be the focus of the Pasadena Veterans’ Day event.

“This year, we are featuring the Pasadena City College program, which is the number one program in California for returning veterans in the Long Wars,” says John Watkins, event committee chair. The committee chose to honor these young veterans, says Leonard Torres, a Marine veteran, because, “by 2015, there will be more than 2 million young civilians who are veterans of these Long Wars.”

(Three mentions of “Long Wars”; we hadn’t heard that term before.)

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This morning program will be followed by a barbecue lunch of hamburgers, hot dogs, salads, and cherry cobbler at the Pasadena Senior Center with entertainment by The Bob and Bernie Show.

The Pasadena Firefighters Association Local 809 will grill 500 hot dogs and the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 446 (Pasadena) will provide dessert.

Veterans’ Day Salute and BBQ
Monday, Nov. 11th, 10:30 a.m. at City Hall; BBQ at 11:30 at Senior Center
Cost: members, $5; non-members, $7 (RSVP & pay at front desk by Thursday, Nov. 7th)
Centennial Square, 100 N. Garfield Ave., 10 a.m.-11:15 a.m.
Ci.Pasadena.CA.US
Pasadena Senior Center, 85 E. Holly St.
PasadenaSeniorCenter.org or call 626.795.4331

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One of Condor Squardron’s many planes




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