HICKORY - The Hickory Lions Club held its fourth-annual Veterans Day program on Sunday, with Chief Warrant Officer Margie Moldovan of McDonald as the speaker at the Mount Pleasant Township Community Center.
Moldovan, who served during Operation Iraqi Freedom, spoke about those service members she's served with, including a mother who had to leave her young son for 18 months and a father who missed the birth of his second child. She also spoke about one of her colleagues who was killed by a suicide bomber and her grandfather, whom she had never met, but whose flag her mother displayed in her home.
Moldovan also spoke about the number of veterans in the area, and, noted, that although there were no military bases in the area, there were a number of National Guard units.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER — Chief Warrant Officer Margie Moldovan, a resident of McDonald, was the keynote speaker during the Hickory Lions Club’s fourth-annual Veterans Day program on Sunday. - Summer Wallace-Minger
When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, "there were several hundred (National Guardsmen) on standby, and there were units sent to New York City and Hoboken, N.J., to help with their cleanup.
"You never know when you will come across a veteran - many don't wear their uniforms every day. You probably come across veterans each and every day. It may be the person in front of you for coffee at Get-Go; it may be the woman who moved in down the street; it may be your childhood best friend's grandfather, who never forgets to put the flag at half-staff."
Moldovan noted that a successful soldier doesn't just have physical strength and the ability to follow and give orders, but a sense of duty and loyalty and an ability to overcome adversity. She noted soldiers and their families made sacrifices, not only for the good of the country, but for the world.
"The effect of warfare and family separation can take a toll on anyone," she said.
Moldovan remarked on the rise in military suicides, and spoke of the program, Resiliency, which helped soldiers solve interpersonal and professional problems and improved positive outlook. She has been certified a master trainer in the program and said she has seen an appreciable impact in a short time.
"The next time you thank a veteran, don't just thank them for their service, but for their sacrifices and for overcoming challenges to make this country great," she said.
In addition to introducing Moldovan, past Lions President Ron Stewart read the roll call of all 28 Hickory-area military members who died during their service. During the roll call, a bell was rung for each local veteran lost, and either a family member or Lion stood in remembrance.
Lions President Bob Glazier gave the welcome. Toni Sears led a "Salute to the Military," and Hickory Boy Scout Troop 1365 presented the colors. Lay Pastor Arden McCartney of the Hickory United Evangelical Presbyterian Church gave the invocation and benediction. Carolyn Smith performed two vocal solos; Brianna Kadlecik performed an instrumental solo; and John Gaskill and Nathan Klimas of the Fort Cherry High School band performed taps.
John Caldwell, veteran and Lion, was remembered for his work in locating a veterans memorial at the community center and in organizing and promoting the annual Veterans Day program.