Much To Be Thankful For All Month


Students at P/S School had a hands-on experience with a Black Hawk helicopter during the school’s Career Day. The helicopter is used for casualty evacuations, troop transports and search and rescue missions and is a mainstay of today’s American armed forces.

Students at P/S School had a hands-on experience with a Black Hawk helicopter during the school’s Career Day. The helicopter is used for casualty evacuations, troop transports and search and rescue missions and is a mainstay of today’s American armed forces. Photo by Joy Hafford. |

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The forest has presented its fall wardrobe and it is spectacular. Residents too are displaying the fashion of the season with sweaters, flannel shirts and boots — the latter being my personal favorite fall accessory. But boots ... seriously?

This Veterans Day, many American service men and women are risking their lives to preserve our way of life, people are struggling to put food on their tables and millions suffering the aftermath of a hurricane. The grim statistics and graphic pictures on our 36-inch flat screen televisions are a solemn reminder that “things” are fleeting, fashion is frivolous and the style of my footwear unimportant.

My high-heeled boots may make me taller, but none stands as tall as the “boots on the ground” of a National Guardsman pulling a family from rising floodwaters. My silver pumps dazzle, but they pale in comparison to the dust-laden boots of our Marines and Army soldiers, the heel-worn shoes of our disaster relief workers, the mud-crusted boots of our search and rescue volunteers and the sooty black boots of our firefighters.

Free meal for veterans, first responders

On Veterans Day many businesses nationally and locally offer complimentary and discounted services to show those who served that they are not forgotten.

The P/S Community Center Thrift Store and Senior Citizens Affairs Foundation (SCAF) are stepping up to show their support and gratitude. On Monday, Nov. 12, all veterans and first responders are invited to come by and enjoy hot dogs, potato salad and baked beans. The appreciation luncheon will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Senior Dining Room, adjacent to the thrift shop. Please call (928) 476-2151 to reserve a spot.

Students honor veterans

Earlier this year, students at P/S School had a chance to meet some of these heroes as military personnel and first responders including P/S Fire Department, Tonto Search and Rescue and the Gila County Sheriff’s Office attended the school’s annual Career Day event. Students had the privilege of seeing a Black Hawk helicopter land on campus. They were able to climb aboard, sit in jump seats and cockpits and meet pilots and military crew who explained the capabilities of the aircraft. They learned about its use for casualty evacuations, troop transports and search and rescue operations.

Many former P/S students are currently serving our communities and country and many current students will go on to be the “boots on the ground” for the next generation. On Nov. 30, the students will honor those who have served our country in their annual Flag Ceremony on campus. The event will begin at 8:15 a.m. in the gymnasium at the school, located behind the Pine Community Center. It is important that we stand with our students in honoring veterans and let them know our community values the USA and those who risk their lives to preserve our freedom.

I hope you will mark your calendars and come show your support. All veterans are invited to join the students and be recognized.

A special thanks to all Rim Country veterans, and especially to my husband, Richard, a disabled combat Marine who served in Vietnam. Veterans put their boots on the ground and their lives on the line. Many carry the wounds of their service long after the battles end, but are proud to have made the sacrifice and would do it again. I salute you all and wish you a Happy Veterans Day.

Don’t spend Thanksgiving alone

Do you miss the days when the whole gang got together for the big holiday feast? Now everyone is scattered throughout the country and travel is expensive, forcing many families to go it alone. SCAF is already getting a head start on ensuring everyone has a great holiday dinner and friends to share it with.

The third annual Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner at the Senior Dining Room at the Pine Community Center is at 2 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 22.

The group is looking for volunteers to help set up and serve. Volunteers may call (928) 476-2151 or (928) 476-4633. You may also call to reserve a space for dinner.

Tellabration

This year’s local Tellabration event is coming up soon. The international storytelling event is celebrated in many communities across the world. This year’s event will take place in the Cultural Hall at the Pine Community Center on Saturday, Nov. 17. In keeping with the spirit of 2012, storytellers will be telling tales that celebrate Arizona’s 100th birthday.

The evening will begin with a “meet and greet” with the storytellers in the Community Dining Hall at 5:30 p.m. The cost for dinner and show is $25. Seating is limited and tickets must be purchased in advance by calling (928) 476-2151. Cultural Hall doors open at 6:30 p.m. and storytelling begins at 7 p.m. Show tickets will be available for $5 at the door.

The annual event is a community benefit that supports the local non-profit group CERCA and the P/S school students’ eighth grade graduation trip.

A seasonal reminder: we have neighbors in need. Every dollar counts. Please send donations to Pine Strawberry Food Bank, P.O. Box 1534, Pine, AZ 85544.

If you have an event to share, please e-mail to haffordjoy1@gmail.com.

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