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WAVES Unit 21 honored during Veterans Day event

November 24, 2011
Special to the Town Crier
The women of the North Coast WAVES Unit 21 were honored for their service at a special Veterans Day Celebration on Nov. 12, at the 356th Fighter Squadron in Akron. Community Hospice volunteers, led by Pixie Furbee and Retired Chief Master Sergeant Jeff Rider-Durst, performed a special pinning ceremony for all members of the unit that were present. The women who belong to the northeastern Ohio unit of WAVES National, have served in all branches of service and range in eras from World War II through current conflicts. The JROTC Warrior Battalion's Female Honor Guard posted the colors and assisted with other aspects of the event.

Among WAVES who were honored during the event were Boardman women Jennifer Baun, Betty Harris and Marlana Robertshaw, who all served in the Navy.

A memorial Two Bell Ceremony recognized those members that the unit lost during the last year; one of whom was a founding member of the unit, Jo Trotter. Traditionally two bells were tolled to mark the end of the routine day aboard a ship. The bell's functional and ceremonial use have made them a symbol of considerable significance to the U.S. Navy and is a most appropriate way to have honored departed sea service shipmates. Four Navy veterans, including Jo Trotter, Angela Mendez, Virginia Stewart and Margaret Anderson Davis, as well as one Marine Corps veteran Pauline Cleland were remembered.

The ceremony ended with a celebration of the recent Navy (Oct. 13) and Marine Corp (Nov. 10) 236th birthdays. A traditional Marine Corp cake cutting was performed by sword and the eldest Marine present passed her piece of cake to the unit's youngest member present along with the wisdom and experience she has to offer. Afterwards, all honorees and guests enjoyed desert together.

WAVES National, established in 1979, is a Sea Service women's organization for women who have served or are currently serving in one of the sea services accepts all women veterans. WAVES National is organized as a non-profit, non-sectarian and non-partisan corporation. There are 78 active WAVES National Units in the nation. Members participate in community affairs, parades, veteran's celebrations, and other such activities. In doing so, they make their communities aware of the important contributions women continue to make as members of the armed services.

Article Photos

Community Hospice volunteer Pixie Furbee and Retired Chief Master Sergeant Jeff Rider-Durst present a pin to Betty Harris, a Boardman resident who served in the Navy and is a member of North Coast WAVES Unit 21.



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